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A Missing Piece of the Puzzle: The Organizational Context in Cultural Patterns of Creativity

  • Jing Zhou (a1) and Yanjie Su (a2)

In this article, we first review cross-cultural research, especially that concerning similarities and differences between East Asian and Western cultures, on creativity using laboratory tasks and tests. On the basis of this review, we then propose some directions for future cross-cultural research on creativity in the workplace. We emphasize the need to theorize why cultural differences make a difference in creativity and directly investigate, rather than assume, effects of contextual factors on creativity. In this regard, two literatures on creativity – cross-cultural studies using laboratory tasks and organizational studies of employee creativity – can benefit tremendously from integration. We also call for more empirical research examining effects of culture on creativity in the workplace, especially in China.

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