Fostering the Implementation of Creative Ideas in Organizations
Edited by Miha Škerlavaj, Matej Černe, Anders Dysvik and Arne Carlsen
Chapter 4: Idea implementation and cultural intelligence
Managers and employees frequently set their goals according to simple mathematical equations, where the path to success is pretty straightforward, and almost everybody knows that 1 + 1 = 2. Thus, Livermore’s (2011) equations state that diverse teams + low cultural intelligence = frustration and low participation. And that on the other hand, diverse teams + high cultural intelligence = innovation. These equations are simple to understand, and therefore cultural intelligence, defined as an individual’s capability to function effectively in a culturally diverse environment and with people from a culturally diverse environment (Ang and Van Dyne, 2008), should be part of every culturally diverse innovative company. However, is this really the case? Diversity, including cultural diversity, is an everyday fact in the workplace (Homan et al., 2008), and for several decades researchers have believed, based on value in argument, that cross-cultural interactions in workplaces may stimulate individuals’ new ideas, different problem-solving styles, knowledge, perspectives and skills (Cox and Blake, 1991; Williams and O’Reilly, 1998; Pelled et al., 1999). On the other hand, empirical evidence shows that cultural diversity may also provoke the emergence of social categorization processes (Tajfel and Turner, 1986) that hinder the use of available information (Van Knippenberg et al., 2004), reduce group cohesion, the individual idea implementation capabilities (Anderson and King, 1991) and innovations in organizations (Hülsheger et al., 2009).
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