A cultural explanation for the mixed findings about the relationship between top management team (TMT) job-related diversity (in educational and functional backgrounds) and organizational innovation was tested in three studies. Paradoxical climate refers to the shared perceptions that contradictory viewpoints can coexist fruitfully. Archival data of publicly listed firms and responses to a survey of Chinese managers were analyzed to show that regional (sub-national) and team paradoxical climate strengthens the positive relationship between diversity and innovation. This may be because it strengthens the positive effects of diversity on cognitive benefits while minimizing the social costs brought by diversity. Such effects of team paradoxical climate on team processes are generally supported by the third survey study on intellectual teams.
Prof. Li is Chair Professor of Management, Lee Quo Wei Professor of Business, and Director of Center for Business Strategy and Innovation, and Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) Senior Fellow, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He served as Senior Associate Dean of the HKUST Business School from 2013 to July 2017; Associate Dean (Faculty) from 2009 to 2013; and Head of the Management Department from 2006 to August 2017. He served as Program Chair of the Strategic Management Society’s special conference held in Hong Kong in December 2016. Prof. Li is an expert on global business strategy. He is an elected Fellow of the Academy of International Business (AIB), and has been elected as Vice President of the AIB and the Program Chair of the 2018 AIB annual conference in the US. He is Editor of the Journal of International Business Studies, and has served as Associate Editor for the Strategic Management Journal from 2009-2016. He is also on the editorial boards of the Academy of Management Journal, Global Strategy Journal, Journal of Management, and Long Range Planning. His current research interests are in the areas of organizational learning, strategic alliances, corporate governance, innovation, and entrepreneurship, with a focus on issues related to global firms and those from emerging economies. His research work has been published regularly in premier management journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Management, and Journal of International Business Studies, and several of which have won best paper awards.