Creativity and Culture: Understanding Team Creativity and What Fosters It

From The Theme


What if we could examine the effect of national culture on creativity?

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Our study was designed to deepen our understanding of the factors that stimulate creativity in different cultures, as well as in cross-cultural teams. Our project explored the relationship between group composition (homogeneous and mixed culture groups) and intrinsic/extrinsic motivation on creative performance. We built on previous research to experiment with systems of rewards that promote creativity in different cultures, as well as the dynamics of creative practice in diverse teams.

Our work investigated how to manage creative work within and across cultures and, in particular, how to stimulate higher levels of creativity. Our research provided thought leadership by examining this under explored aspect of knowledge work in today’s global economy. We found that creative performance is higher for Eastern teams under non-iterative prototyping conditions, and for Western teams under iterative prototyping conditions. This may be because iterative creative prototyping encourages short-term focus, while conditions with more time to perfect and refine prototypes may be more effective for an Eastern, long term oriented approach.

P. Hinds, H.H. Kim and S. Mishra, “Creativity and Culture: State of the Art” in Design Thinking Research, July 2011

Kim, H. & Hinds, P. (2012). Harmony vs. disruption: The effect of iterative prototyping on teams’ creative processes and outcomes in the West and the East. In: Proceedings of the ICIC: International Conference on Intercultural Collaboration, ACM

Hinds, P., Liu, L., Lyon, J. Putting the Global in Global Work: An Intercultural Lens on the Practice of Cross-National Collaboration ACADEMY OF MANAGEMENT ANNALS. 2011; 5: 135-188

Cramton, C. D., Hinds, P. J. An Embedded Model of Cultural Adaptation in Global Teams ORGANIZATION SCIENCE. 2014; 25 (4): 1056-1081

Pamela HindsPamela J. Hinds is Professor and Director of the Center on Work, Technology, and Organization in the Department of Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University. She studies the effect of technology on teams and collaboration. Dr. Hinds has conducted extensive research on the dynamics of geographically distributed work teams, particularly those spanning national boundaries. She explores issues of culture, language, identity, conflict, and the role of site visits in promoting knowledge sharing and collaboration. She has published extensively on the relationship between national culture and work practices, particularly exploring how work practices or technologies created in one location are understood and appropriated at distant sites. Dr. Hinds also has a body of research on human-robot interaction in the work environment and the dynamics of human-robot teams.

Hannah Hyunjee Kim Hannah Hyunjee Kim is a PhD Student in the Department of Management Science & Engineering, Stanford University. Ms. Kim holds a BA in Business/Applied Statistics from Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Prior to coming to Stanford, she was a business strategy consultant for 6 years at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in the San Francisco and Seoul offices. While at BCG, she worked on strategic and organizational management projects for Fortune 500 companies in the high tech and financial services industry.