Topics: Innovation, Culture, Geert Hofstede Pages: 54 (8287 words) Published: September 23, 2013

Content Validity
of Hofstede's Dimensions
Jasminka LAŽNJAK
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb

UDK: 316.42(497.5):001
Izvorni znanstveni rad

Primljeno: 8. 4. 2011.

Faced with the challenge to increase the level of innovation in science and technology many societies have developed a
national innovation system as a form of public policy programs. If innovative culture is crucial for the adoption and development of new technologies, it is of great importance to explore the concept and possibly find out which type of culture is more innovative than others. Presented in the paper are the results of the first empirical study of innovation culture in Croatia based on a survey on the representative sample of Croatian population. Drawing on Hofstede's concept of dimensions of national culture, Croatian national innovation culture is operationalized as a set of value orientations and norms (uncertainty avoidance, individualism, masculinity – femininity, long-term or short-term orientation, and power distance). Four scales based on Hofstede's dimensions were constructed, which mainly support the content validity of his concept. They could be used to measure differences in innovative capacity between groups and regions. The analysis shows the presence of multiple dimensions of innovation culture in Croatia that might hinder innovation capacity, but this doesn't necessary lead to the conclusion that we can identify one type culture elements as the only model for strengthening the innovative culture.

Keywords: national innovation culture, dimensions of
national culture, Hofstede, Croatia


Jasminka Lažnjak, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of Sociology, I. Lučića 3, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia.



Development of knowledge economy relies heavily on knowledge application and knowledge use that is conventionally coined in the term of innovation. Starting with the pioneering OECD study (OECD, 1992), innovation and technological development is growingly recognized as a complex social phenomenon which opens the platform for socio-cultural research on innovation.

Since the thesis of knowledge and innovation as the basis
for development and prosperity and their embeddedness into the socio-cultural and political environment was widely accepted, it has been an incentive for social studies of science and technology and innovation studies to grow more rapidly.

Innovation became the issue very high on the agenda in various disciplines such as economy, sociology, business management, policy and cultural studies. The different rate of national innovativeness and dynamics in innovation production leads to the conclusion that the process of innovation as well as national innovation capacities are embedded in socio-cultural and political processes and therefore both are contextual, path dependent and locally specific (Mytelka and Smith, 2002; Furman et al., 2002). The concept of national innovation policy (Lundvall, 2007)

has emerged in a form of public policy programs that would
foster innovation by capitalization of science through productive use of national scientific and technological potentials. National innovation systems emphasized the crucial role of socio-economic actors to create an innovation conductive institutional environment. Apart from institutions which directly and deliberately promote the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge such as R&D departments, technological institutes

and universities (Freeman, 2002), some other important factors from the political and cultural environment shape the scale, direction and relative success of all innovative activities (Rammert, 2002). Therefore, innovations have become endogenous and evolving, conditioned by the social and institutional context (Furman et al., 2002;...

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