Social processes and team creativity in multicultural teams: A socio-technical framework

Kwok Leung, Jie Wang

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Cultural diversity is widely believed to broaden the knowledge and perspectives in a team and hence benefit team creativity. However, cultural diversity can at the same time suppress team creativity through the negative social processes it engenders, and this negative mechanism has received little theoretical attention. We present a theoretical analysis to explicate how cultural diversity creates cultural identity and intercultural obstacles, which hinder knowledge sharing and integration among team members and hence team creativity. Drawing on the socio-technical systems perspective, we identify two types of contextual variables that moderate the negative, mediated impact of cultural diversity on team creativity: information and communication technology and task environment in terms of task characteristics. We provide an analysis of how each type of variables moderates the negative impact of cultural diversity on social processes and the impact of social processes on knowledge sharing and integration. Several future research directions based on the socio-technical systems perspective are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1008-1025
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015


  • Cultural diversity
  • Intercultural interaction
  • Socio-technical systems approach
  • Team creativity
  • Virtual teams

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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