Culture-Based Creativity in the Regional Strategy of Development: Is Russia in Game?

Culture-Based Creativity in the Regional Strategy of Development: Is Russia in Game?

Oxana Karnaukhova
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7492-9.ch009
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In the knowledge-based society, economic growth depends on the implementation of new ideas. Creative people, creative industries, and creative economies are considered as the crucial drivers of the economic prosperity and change management. This chapter analyzes regional specificity of Russia in creation and support of creativity within social and economic development, using the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, Impact Report, and the G20 Entrepreneurship Barometer. Using data from Inglehardt's World Values Survey, the analysis of cultural assignments in the decision-making in Russia will continue compared to diverse European practices. It will be a valuable basis for further exploration of collision between global economic systems, demands for creativity and innovation, internal Russian institutional and societal resources for support/rejection of innovation, and culturally indoctrinated behavioral patterns of young researchers and intellectual entrepreneurs, articulated as drivers of the new economy.
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Conceptual Framework

Culture is one of the most discussable concepts in extant academic literature. It exists on three levels of analysis: meta, mezzo, and micro (with implications to organization, corporate and other forms of culture). There are several dimensions of culture that could be found within the academic milieu: culture and cultural differences in management, social psychology, and linguistic anthropology. On the meta-level of analysis since the 1950s, we can see the changes in perception of culture away from the objectivist framing the concept as a way life, including traits, values, and behavioral patterns (Herbig & Dunphy, 1998). The new wave of re-assessment of culture came into being during the 1980s called the “cultural turn” (Jameson, 1998). It helped to develop a more flexible definition of Hofstede (1997) who defines culture as “the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another”. Here, we are interested not only in a specific values set, but also in differences in culture at the mezzo-level of analysis that distinguish one region from another. That is why we will follow Kim and Markus (1999) who theorize cultures as constantly changing, open systems of behaviors, attitudes, and norms. Such systems also include institutions that are continuously reinforced through various ways of engagement, participation, networking, etc.

Today, we clearly see the intervention of culture in economic systems and sociality. As Paul du Gay (2002) has highlighted, ‘culture’ is accorded a privileged position in this endeavor because it is seen to play a crucial role in structuring the way people think, feel, and act in organizations and beyond. Cultural discourse in economy is not simply about beliefs, values, and symbols, but rather is a form of representational and technological (that is culturally defined) practices that constitutes the regional spaces within which economic actions and events are framed and formatted. On one hand, the logical constructions of Paul du Gay are located around direct relationship between production and consumption processes; therefore, the ability of producers to frame this relationship concludes in assemblage of economic knowledge and different forms of cultural practices. On the other hand, leading economic and financial centers are characterized by information flows and streams, and the ability to launch and maintain a network of their own contacts.

Cultural dimensions are the most influential and feasible in the context of international cooperation and communication strategies (for more details see, for instance, Burt, 1984; Kaufman, 2011). First, these dimensions focus on human values, and precisely shift economic development, directly linking to organizational process and communication. Second, we suppose the dimensions of Hall and Hofstede as the most recognizable in studying cross-cultural issues in networking. Finally, the most important dimension is the context of intercultural communication. For instance, while describing international financial sectors and the role of cross-cultural communication abilities, Thrift (1994) stressed that one of the significant skills is the ability to construct relationships of trust and to be part of the interpretation of what is actually occurring. The economic models and the results of regional financial engineering are composed and put in play, being simply indications of the culturally shaped imaginations of space-time and display of a collective trust.

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