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Culture influences how the social context affects creativity

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The latest career research insights to grow your career

Culture influences how the social context affects creativity

Domingo Valero

Working as a team, under supervision, or on your own is differently related to creativity depending on the power-distance and individualism-collectivism cultural values of your society, as a recent study suggests. American students generated less ideas and elaborated their ideas less when working in a team compared to Chinese students working in a team. This finding may be attributed to the individualistic cultural norm that is prevalent in American culture. Chinese individuals, on the other hand, generated less original ideas when working under supervision. The high power-distance in Chinese society may have inhibited participants working under supervision, not wanting to risk a negative evaluation by their supervisor by generating novel ideas that deviate from the norm.

Journal of Organizational Behavior