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Taking advantage of differences: Increasing team innovation through identity integration

Diversity and Groups

ISBN: 978-1-84855-052-0, eISBN: 978-1-84855-053-7

Publication date: 1 August 2008


In this chapter, we posit that identity integration, an individual difference variable measuring the degree to which multiple and disparate social identities are perceived as compatible, moderates the relationship between team diversity and innovation. Prior research shows that individuals with higher levels of identity integration exhibit higher levels of innovation on tasks that draw from identity-related knowledge systems. In this chapter, we extend this research to examine how innovation can be increased in cross-functional teams. We propose that reinforcing the compatibility between functional identities within a team facilitates access to functionally unique knowledge systems, which in turn increases team innovation.


Cheng, C.-Y., Sanchez-Burks, J. and Lee, F. (2008), "Taking advantage of differences: Increasing team innovation through identity integration", Phillips, K.W. (Ed.) Diversity and Groups (Research on Managing Groups and Teams, Vol. 11), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 55-73.



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