Beyond Individual Creativity: The Superadditive Benefits of Multicultural Experience for Collective Creativity in Culturally Diverse Teams

Carmit T. Tadmor, Patricia Satterstrom, Sujin Jang, Jeffrey T. Polzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Although recent research has consistently demonstrated the benefits of multicultural experience for individual-level creativity, its potential advantages for collective creativity in culturally diverse teams have yet to be explored. We predicted that multicultural experience among members of a collective would enhance joint creativity in a superadditive fashion. Using a two-step methodology that included both individual and dyadic brainstorming sessions, we found that even after controlling for individual creativity, multicultural experience had a superadditive effect on dyadic creativity. Specifically, dyads performed best on a creative task in terms of fluency, flexibility, and novelty-three classic dimensions of creativity-when both dyad partners had high levels of multicultural experience. These results show that when it comes to multicultural experience, the creative whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Implications for diversity research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-392
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2012

Keywords

  • brainstorming
  • creativity
  • culture and cognition
  • multiculturalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology

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