Identity Integration and Innovation
38 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2007
Date Written: March 2007
Three studies examined the psychological antecedents and processes related to individual-level innovation. We propose that individuals who can integrate multiple social identities are better at combining knowledge systems associated with each identity, and thus exhibit higher levels of innovation. Three studies, each probing different types of social identities, provide evidence for this proposition. Study 1 showed that Asian American biculturals with high identity integration between their Asian and American identities exhibited higher levels of innovation in creating Asian-American fusion cuisine compared to biculturals with low identity integration. Study 2 showed that women engineers with high identity integration between their gender and professional identities were more innovative than those with low identity integration. Finally, Study 3 showed that innovation among faculty members with two disciplinary affiliations is similarly related to individual differences in identity integration between their disciplinary affiliations. These findings suggest that the psychological management of multiple identities affects individual innovation.
Keywords: Social Identity, Identity Integration, Innovation, Multiple Identities
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