Cultural Brokerage and Creative Performance in Multicultural Teams

Forthcoming, Organization Science

INSEAD Working Paper No. 2017/70/OBH

38 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2017

Date Written: October 20, 2017

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Jang, Sujin, Cultural Brokerage and Creative Performance in Multicultural Teams (October 20, 2017). Forthcoming, Organization Science, INSEAD Working Paper No. 2017/70/OBH, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3056274 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3056274

Sujin Jang (Contact Author)

INSEAD ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau Cedex
France

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