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National culture and innovation capability: some observations concerning Chinese‐Americans

Yim‐Yu Wong (Department of International Business, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, USA)
André M. Everett (Department of Management, University of Otago, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand)
Joel D. Nicholson (Department of International Business, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, USA)

Management Research News

ISSN: 0140-9174

Article publication date: 18 July 2008




The purpose of this paper is to review the literature and discuss the relations between national culture, national subcultures and innovation based on three perspectives: divergence, convergence and crossvergence.


Based principally on previous studies in the “culture” and “culture and innovation” literature, this paper reviews two key sets of literature: first, the three perspectives of macro‐level cultural interaction are reviewed; second, the relationship between culture and innovation is reviewed. Hofstede's five dimensions of culture in the workplace are employed when discussing the impact of culture and innovation.


The outcome of the review suggests that the product of crossvergence (Chinese‐American culture in this case) has a high potential to be more innovative than one of the two interacting cultures (Chinese), but does not draw a conclusion regarding relative innovativeness between Chinese‐American and US culture. It is generally found that Western cultures tend to be more innovative than Eastern cultures.

Research limitations/implications

This conceptual paper has implications for business strategy but does not present fresh empirical data to support its propositions.

Practical implications

In today's highly competitive and highly complex global environment, innovation is a key success factor in organizations worldwide. The search for talented and innovative employees should not be limited to domestic sources alone. The talent pool of Chinese‐Americans and others from multicultural backgrounds should be tapped. Ethnocentric viewpoints are outdated.


The value of this paper is its exploration of the impacts of the crossvergence of cultures on innovation.



Wong, Y., Everett, A.M. and Nicholson, J.D. (2008), "National culture and innovation capability: some observations concerning Chinese‐Americans", Management Research News, Vol. 31 No. 9, pp. 697-712.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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