"Going out" of the box: depth of intercultural romantic relationships and friendships predicts creativity, workplace innovations, and entrepreneurship

Jackson G. Lu, Andrew C. Hafenbrack, William W. Maddux, Paul W. Eastwick, Dan J. Wang, Adam D. Galinsky

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

Using multiple methods (longitudinal, experimental, and field studies), diverse population samples (MBA students, employees, and professional repatriates), and both laboratory and real-world measures, the present research investigates whether close intercultural relationships promote creativity, workplace innovation, and entrepreneurship-outcomes that are vital to individual and organizational success. Using a longitudinal design over a ten-month MBA program, Study 1 demonstrated that intercultural dating predicted improved creative performance on both divergent and convergent thinking tasks. Using an experimental design, Study 2 established the causal connection between intercultural dating and creativity: Among participants who had previously had both intercultural and intracultural dating experiences, those who recalled an intercultural dating experience displayed higher creativity compared to those who recalled an intracultural dating experience. Importantly, cultural learning fully mediated this effect. Extending the first two studies, Study 3 found that the depth (i.e., duration), but not the breadth (i.e., number of partners), of intercultural dating experiences positively predicted the ability of working adults to generate creative names for marketing products. In Study 4, we analyzed an original dataset of 2,226 professional repatriates from 81 countries who had previously worked in the U.S. under J-1 visas. Results indicated that the depth of intercultural friendships (i.e., their frequency of contact with American friends) since returning to their home countries positively predicted their entrepreneurship and workplace innovation. Going out with a friend or romantic partner from a foreign culture at a deep level can help people “go out” of the box and into a creative frame of mind.
Original languageEnglish
Pages571-576
Number of pages6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event76th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2016 - Anaheim, United States
Duration: 5 Aug 20169 Aug 2016

Conference

Conference76th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAnaheim
Period5/08/169/08/16

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