This paper examines the effect of culture on national innovation and prosperity. Because culture shapes the way people think about and behave in regard to risk, opportunities, and rewards, it should influence the nature of entrepreneurial activity and, by extension, economic outcomes. Using structural equation modeling on a sample of 63 countries, we propose and test a comprehensive explanation of how culture as an umbrella construct (as opposed to an analysis of its constituent parts) affects innovation and national prosperity. We propose a two-stage model of innovation, and find support for our hypothesized relationship that “economic creativity” influences “innovation implementation.” At the national level, we find that culture does indeed influence economic creativity. We also find that innovation implementation explained some of the variation in prosperity across countries. By establishing that “big picture” culture matters to innovation, the door has opened for researchers to evaluate this relationship using data from any one of a number of rival culture frameworks. Moreover, these empirical finding buttress the theoretical arguments that culture powerfully shapes the character of national innovation.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 15, 2008
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