Skip to main content
Innovating at Cultural Crossroads: How Multicultural Social Networks Promote Ideas Flow and Creativity
Journal of Management
  • Roy Y. J. CHUA, Singapore Management University
Publication Type
Journal Article
Publication Date

Diversity in social networks is often linked to enhanced creativity. Emerging research on exposure to diverse informational resources (e.g., ideas and knowledge) however has painted a more complex picture regarding its effect on individuals’ creative performance. This research examines the effects of culturally diverse networks on the flow of ideas and individuals’ creativity. Combining social network analysis with experimental methods, two studies using different samples found that a culturally diverse network increases the likelihood of receiving culture-related novel ideas (but not other types of novel ideas) from network contacts, whether or not these contacts share one’s own culture of origin. Additionally, the creativity effect of network diversity depends on the type of tasks. Networks’ degree of cultural diversity increases creativity on tasks that draw on varied cultural-knowledge resources but not on other types of tasks. These findings highlight that network diversity provides access to specific forms of knowledge and has a domain-specific effect on creativity. Theoretical and practical implications for creativity and social network research are discussed.

  • creativity,
  • social network,
  • culture,
  • diversity,
  • multiculturalism
Copyright Owner and License
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Additional URL
Citation Information
Roy Y. J. CHUA. "Innovating at Cultural Crossroads: How Multicultural Social Networks Promote Ideas Flow and Creativity" Journal of Management Vol. 44 Iss. 3 (2018) p. 1119 - 1146 ISSN: 0149-2063
Available at: