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The moderating role of social media usage in the relationship among multicultural experiences, cultural intelligence, and individual creativity

Shangui Hu (University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China and School of Business, Anhui University of Technology, Maanshan, China)
Jibao Gu (School of Management, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China)
Hefu Liu (School of Management, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China)
Qian Huang (School of Management, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Article publication date: 5 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the moderating role of social media usage in the relationship among multicultural experiences, cultural intelligence, and creativity.

Design/methodology/approach

This study conducted a questionnaire survey in three public universities in China and obtained 310 useful responses from international students.

Findings

The authors categorized social media usage into informational and socializing usage. Findings show that socializing social media usage strengthens the relationship between multicultural experiences and cultural intelligence, whereas informational social media usage does not strengthen such relationship.

Research limitations/implications

The findings suggest that practitioners, such as managers or university administrators, should focus on well-designed multicultural activities in the development of individual creativity. They should also acknowledge the enabling role of cultural intelligence in developing individual creativity and realize that social media usage should be differentiated from the outcomes of its usage.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the knowledge on the moderating role of social media usage in the relationship between multicultural experiences and creativity based on experiential learning theory. The study presents the relationship among multicultural experiences, cultural intelligence, and creativity. Moreover, by investigating the moderating roles of informational and socializing social media usage, the authors presented that an IT contingent view of multicultural experiences is helpful in understanding the relationship between multicultural experiences and cultural intelligence.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The work described in this paper was supported by the grants from “the National Natural Science Foundation of China” (NSFC: 71371177, 71622009, 71571169, and 71571177), Anhui Provincial Natural Science Fund (1708085MG174), Anhui Provincial Teaching Reforming Project (2016jyxm0129), Anhui Social Sciences Research Project (SK2017A0082) and China Association for International Education Project (2014-15Z012).

Citation

Hu, S., Gu, J., Liu, H. and Huang, Q. (2017), "The moderating role of social media usage in the relationship among multicultural experiences, cultural intelligence, and individual creativity", Information Technology & People, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 265-281. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITP-04-2016-0099

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited