The Analysis of Multiculturalism in the Context of Development of Academic Spin-Off Companies in the United States of America
Authors: Anna Szopa, Justyna Bandoła
Abstract: It is wildly agreed upon in the literature on creativity that the diversity of the team is conducive to developing more creative ideas. The most breakthrough innovations are developed on the border between different worlds, areas or fields. This observation leads to the greater need of a cultural competence of the innovators, manifested in their ability to understand, communicate and cooperate with people from different ethnic and socio-economic background, as well as different life experience and educational history. The case of multiculturalism is especially important in American university spin-off companies. These types of companies are frequently an example of combining two levels of multiculturalism. Firstly, their employees might have diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Secondly, they operate within two worlds – of the academia and the industry. Those two worlds have different modes of operating, goals and organizational cultures, which leads to different mindsets of their representatives and results in communication difficulties. Spin-off companies as intermediaries in the knowledge and technology transfer process play a significant role in overcoming these problems.
Keywords: Cross-Cultural Diversity, Multicultural Environment, University Spin-Off, Innovation
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