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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 China. 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 were significant cultural and gender-related differences in value priorities and attitudes to innovation among the Canadian, Russian, and Chinese college students. As hypothesized, across the full set of participants, higher priority given to Openness to change values (self-direction, stimulation) was related to positive attitudes toward innovation whereas higher priority given to Conservation values (conformity, security) was related negatively to attitudes toward innovation. This result is compatible with the findings reported by other researchers (Shane, 1992; Dollinger et al.,, 2007). There were, however, culture-specific variations in some of these associations, which may be explained by cultural differences in value priorities and implicit theories of creativity. Applying the Multiple-Group Multiple Indicators Multiple Causes Model (Muthen 1989) we have found that the type of mediation between sociodemographic factors and attitudes to innovation is different in the three samples. 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 attitudes to innovation are discussed.