Mixed Backgrounds Improve Organizational Innovation, Creativity
Source: University of Michigan (Ross)
Like Barack Obama and millions of Americans, Ross School professor Fiona Lee comes from a mixed cultural background. She is an Asian American who was born in Europe, grew up in Hong Kong and settled in the United States. Lee's research also crosses a mixture of disciplines: psychology, business and organizational behavior. She notes that most people, in one way or another, have "multiple identities" or mixed backgrounds or experiences of some sort. In new research, Lee and Ross colleague Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks and Chi-Ying Cheng of Singapore Management University show when workers "integrate" and draw upon those different aspects of their backgrounds, they are more creative at work.