Entrepreneurship & Organization Management

ISSN: 2169-026X

Open Access

Cross-Cultural Differences in Creativity: A Process-Based View through a Prism of Cognition, Motivation and Attribution


McCarthy M

Global innovation capabilities including effective leverage of employee’s creative potential across various cultural contexts have become increasingly important. Although widely recognized among researchers and practitioners, cross-cultural differences in creativity are yet to be comprehensively explored. The paper examines differences in creativity from a process perspective and identifies distinct mechanisms that underlie differences in creativity across cultures. Specifically, the theoretical framework depicts effects of motivational, cognitive and attribution preferences on information processing strategies at every step of a creativity process and outlines how these differences result in a qualitatively different creative outcome. The perspective presented in the paper traces differences in the degree of novelty and usefulness of a creative idea to the information processing strategies that occur at every given step of a creative process. The proposed model complements prevalent social or normative approaches in the cross-cultural creativity field to provide a process-based explanation for the differences in the degree of creativity that were observed by researchers in the past.


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