Cultural Differences in Information Technology Settings: Impacts on Creativity and Knowledge-sharing

By Mahmoud Watad and Cesar Perez-Alvarez.

Published by The Organization Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper examines the dynamics of a multicultural workforce in IT units and the potential that cultural diversity has in impacting the effectiveness of the work environment. The research approach is exploratory in nature and attempts to provide insight into the relationships existing amongst cultural diversity, creativity, and knowledge-sharing. According to the findings of the study, there appears to be patterns of behavior among IT people that are attributable to their different cultural backgrounds. Moreover, it seems that those patterns impact knowledge sharing and creativity among them. Given the exploratory nature of this study, the findings may have limited generalizability. However, this study is important for practitioners in the sense it emphasizes the need for managers to (i) encourage their employees to share knowledge and opinions as a way to enhance creativity; and, (ii) adjust their managerial style if they are to overcome their own cultural barriers.

Keywords: Culture, Effectiveness, Creativity, IT Settings, Knowledge Sharing

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp.231-242. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 798.019KB).

Prof. Mahmoud Watad

Professor, Christos M. Cotsakos College of Business, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ, USA

Mahmoud M. Watad is Professor of Information Systems and Management. After obtaining a B.S. in mechanical engineering and a M.S. in materials engineering, he earned a Masters in public affairs from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Ph.D. in management from New York University. A native speaker of Arabic, Dr. Watad is also fluent in English and Hebrew. He teaches in the graduate and undergraduate education programs that are offered by the College of Business at William Paterson University. His research in knowledge management, telecommuting, office automation, information systems assessment, and strategic management has been presented at some of the leading academic conferences around the world and published in prestigious journals such as the Sloan Management Review. Dr. Watad’s professional background transcends the academic, business, and public sectors. He managed IT projects related to business process automation and reengineering. Dr. Watad has developed and delivered seminars in information management in both Arabic and English for high-level managers and government administrators. He also developed and presented workshops in innovation, power, IT, and service delivery for middle-level mangers. These seminars have been delivered to managers from the Middle East, South America, and North America.

Dr. Cesar Perez-Alvarez

Associate Professor, Marketing and Management Department, Cotsakos College of Business, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ, USA


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