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Values and Attitudes towards Innovation among Canadian, Chinese and Russian Students

Lebedeva N., Schmidt P.
This study investigated relations of basic personal values to attitudes towards innovation among students in Russia, Canada, and Сhina. Participants completed a questionnaire that included the SVS measure of values (Schwartz, 1992) and a new measure of attitudes towards innovation (Lebedeva, Tatarko, 2009). There are significant cultural and gender-related differences in value priorities and innovative attitudes among the Canadian, Russian, and Chinese college students. As hypothesized, across the full set of participants, higher priority given to Opennes to change values (self-direction, stimulation) related to positive attitudes toward innovation whereas higher priority given to Conservation values (conformity, security) related negatively. This is compatible with the results reported by other researchers (Shane, 1992, 1995; Dollinger, Burke & Gump, 2007). There were, however, culture-specific variations in some of these associations, which may be explained by cultural differences in value priorities or meanings and in implicit theories of creativity and innovation. Applying the Multiple-Group Multiple Indicators Multiple Causes Model (MGMIMIC) (Muthen 1989) has shown that the type of Values-Innovation mediation is different in the three countries. Whereas in Russia and Canada the effects of gender and age are fully mediated by the values, this is not true for China, where a direct effect of gender on innovation was found. The cultural differences in values, implicit theories of innovation, and their consequences for attitudes to innovation and personal well-being is finally discussed.