Cultural Brokerage and Creative Performance in Multicultural Teams
Forthcoming, Organization Science
38 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2017
Date Written: October 20, 2017
This paper presents a novel theoretical framework of how members of multicultural teams leverage their diverse knowledge to produce creative outcomes. I develop and test a model of cultural brokerage, which I define as the act of facilitating interactions between actors across cultural boundaries. I find that team members with multicultural backgrounds engage in cultural brokerage on behalf of monocultural team members. Among multiculturals, “cultural insiders”— those whose cultural background overlaps with other team members’— brokered by integrating knowledge from different cultures, whereas “cultural outsiders”— those whose cultural background has no overlap with any other team members’— brokered by eliciting knowledge from different cultures. Both integrating and eliciting significantly enhanced creative performance at the team level. These findings advance our understanding of the process of creativity in culturally diverse teams.
Keywords: Cultural Brokerage, Multicultural Teams, Cultural Diversity, Creativity
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