Cognitive Team Diversity and Individual Team Member Creativity: A Cross-Level Interaction

We extend our appreciation to Pamela Tierney, Robert Liden, Thomas Bateman, and Brad Gilbreath for their helpful comments on earlier versions as well as to the participants at seminars held at Korea University Business School, Yonsei School of Business, and City University of Hong Kong

Shung J. Shin

2012

Scholarcy highlights

  • We theorized and tested the conditions under which cognitive team diversity is positively related to individual team member creativity
  • When a team leader exhibited a high level of transformational leadership, cognitive team diversity was positively related to individual team member creativity, and the effect was statistically significant
  • Team Cognitive Diversity between cognitive team diversity and individual creativity in such a way that cognitive team diversity was positively related to individual team member creativity only when a team member’s creative self-efficacy was high
  • Transformational leadership influenced the relationship between cognitive team diversity and individual creativity: cognitive team diversity was positively related to individual creativity only when transformational leadership was high
  • These findings extend previous research on creativity and team diversity by looking into the conditions, at both the individual and team levels, under which cognitive team diversity positively relates to individual creativity
  • We argue that cognitive team diversity is significantly related to individual team members’ creativity because it is likely to be associated with creativity processes rather than with social categorization processes
  • This study investigated the cross-level interaction between team diversity and individual characteristics, which has been neglected in previous research
  • The results indicated that to take full advantage of diverse cognitive resources, managers should engage in transformational leadership behavior so that individual team members can focus on discovering new and better ideas, appreciate one another’s different perspectives readily, and seek creative ideas when they are working with cognitively diverse team members

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