Cultural Impacts on National Innovativeness

Links between the GLOBE Cultural Dimensions and the GII and IUS Innovation Indexes

The working paper at hand assumes that differences of innovativeness of different countries can be explained to a certain extent by cultural differences. Thus, the paper deals with the research question of which cultural dimensions have an influence on national innovativeness. Previous research mainly uses the Hofstede-dimensions to describe cultural differences and often focuses on single parameters to describe national innovativeness (e.g. number of patents per capita). This paper, instead, uses the dimensions of the GLOBE-study which builds on the findings of Hofstede but is more up-to-date and comprehensive and uses two innovation indexes – the Global Innovation Index (GII) and the Innovation Union Scoreboard (IUS) – to describe national innovativeness.

The authors use correlation analysis to find relationships between the GLOBE dimensions and the innovation indexes. They find positive correlations of innovativeness (both indexes) to Future Orientation (practice scale), Gender Egalitarianism (value scale), Human Orientation (value scale) and Uncertainty Avoidance (practice scale) as well as negative correlations to In-Group Collectivism (practice scale), Future Orientation (value scale) and Uncertainty Avoidance (value scale). Some of the findings are contrary to existing hypotheses, e.g. only a weak negative correlation of Power Distance to one of the indexes. Furthermore the findings show significant differences between practice scales and value scales, especially concerning Future Orientation and Uncertainty Avoidance which deserve further examination.

Overall it can be concluded that culture has an impact on national innovativeness.
The different cultural dimensions of the GLOBE-study show a multi-faceted interrelationship between culture and innovation. To come to a concise answer for the question which dimensions affect national innovativeness in which way additional research will be necessary.

The Working Paper can be downloaded from this Website under Publications/CBS-Working Papers.

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