Adam Kleinbaum, Dartmouth College

Cultural Diversity Broadens Social Networks
Adam Kleinbaum


Winter 2020
Lecture Time: 
Friday, February 28, 2020 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm
Lecture Location: 
R0220 Ross School of Business


Cultural Diversity Broadens Social Networks
48 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2019 Last revised: 3 Oct 2019
Adrienne Wood
Dartmouth College

Adam M. Kleinbaum
Tuck School of Business; Dartmouth College

Thalia Wheatley
Dartmouth College

Date Written: October 2, 2019

Migration and mobility increase cultural diversity. Does this diversity have consequences for how a culture’s members interact, even in a new community? We hypothesized that people from regions with greater present-day and historical cultural diversity would forge more diversified social ties in a newly formed community, connecting otherwise unconnected groups. In other words, that they would become social brokers. We tested this prediction by characterizing the social networks of eight Master of Business Administration cohorts (N=2,250). Here we show that international students (N=776) from populations with diverse long-history migration were more likely to become social brokers than international students from less ancestrally diverse nations. American students’ (N = 1,464) brokerage scores were also positively related to their home counties’ indices of international connectivity (calculated from aggregate Facebook data). The results of this study suggest that more culturally diverse social environments — defined here at multiple geographic and temporal scales — endow people with socially adaptable behaviors that help them connect to new, heterogeneous communities.

Recording & Additional Notes

Adam Kleinbaum is an Associate Professor in the Strategy and Management area at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. He is co-founder of the Dartmouth Interdisciplinary Network Research (DINR) Group. Adam’s research examines the antecedents and evolution of social networks in organizations. He has shown how formal and informal structures and processes, prior career history, and individual personality contribute to advantageous network structures. New research explores the neuroscience of social networks. A secondary stream of research explores how the structure of a firm’s internal communication network serves to enable coordination, innovation and, ultimately, firm performance. His research was among those featured in 2018's "Top Ten Insights from the Science of a Meaningful Life". In 2018, Adam received the ASQ Award for Scholarly Contribution for his paper "Organizational Misfits".