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How does culture contribute to innovation? Evidence from European countries

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  • Anneli Kaasa
  • Maaja Vadi

Abstract

Culture is deemed to be a crucial basis for innovation in various respects. The aim of this paper is to explore the relationships between different cultural dimensions introduced by G. Hofstede (2001, Culture's consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, insititutions, and organizations across nations, 2nd ed., Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage) and the capability of initiating innovation measured by the number of patent applications using the sample of European countries at the regional level. As a novel approach, instead of using Hofstede's original index scores, the measures for the cultural dimensions are based on the European Social Survey. We have learned that to be successful in patenting, a region should have power distance, uncertainty avoidance, family-related collectivism (as opposed to friend-related and organisation-related collectivism), and lower than average masculinity. In addition, the negative relationships between these cultural dimensions and patenting are stronger when there is a higher patenting intensity. However, culture alone does not serve as a guarantee for a high level of patenting intensity.

Suggested Citation

  • Anneli Kaasa & Maaja Vadi, 2010. "How does culture contribute to innovation? Evidence from European countries," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(7), pages 583-604.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:19:y:2010:i:7:p:583-604
    DOI: 10.1080/10438590902987222
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    Keywords

    innovation; culture; Hofstede; Europe;
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