Creativity East and West: Perspectives and Parallels

15 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2010

See all articles by Michael Morris

Michael Morris

Columbia Business School - Management

Kwok Leung

City University of Hong Kong (CityUHK) - Department of Management Sciences


This Editors' Forum –‘Creativity East and West’– presents five papers on the question of cultural differences in creativity from the perspective of different research literatures, followed by two integrative commentaries. The literatures represented include historiometric, laboratory, and organizational studies. Investigation of cultural influences through country comparisons and priming manipulations, focusing on how people perform creatively and how they assess creativity. This introduction notes parallels in the findings across these research perspectives, suggesting some cultural universals in creativity and some systematic differences. Many differences can be explained in terms of the model that creativity means a solution that is both novel/original and useful/appropriate, yet that Western social norms prioritize novelty whereas Eastern norms prioritize usefulness – an account which predicts cultural differences would arise in contexts that activate social norms. The commentaries elaborate this argument in terms of processes – at the micro cognitive level and at the macro societal level – through which creativity occurs.

Suggested Citation

Morris, Michael W. and Leung, Kwok, Creativity East and West: Perspectives and Parallels. Management and Organization Review, Vol. 6, Issue 3, pp. 313-327, November 2010. Available at SSRN: or

Michael W. Morris (Contact Author)

Columbia Business School - Management ( email )

3022 Broadway
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United States
212-854-2296 (Phone)


Kwok Leung

City University of Hong Kong (CityUHK) - Department of Management Sciences ( email )

Tat Chee Avenue
Kowloon Tong
Hong Kong
852-2788-8985 (Phone)
852-2788-8960 (Fax)


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