Outcomes and Perspectives
Chapter 13: Gender and Sector Effects on Finnish Rural Entrepreneurs’ Culture: Some Educational Implications
Seija Mahlamäki-Kultanen INTRODUCTION Rural municipalities and villages all over the world, including Finland, are losing their younger inhabitants and enterprises at the same time as bigger centres (towns and cities) keep growing (Cecora, 2000). Sustaining the population of rural areas by increasing the number of rural enterprises is a big challenge for vocational education and entrepreneurs. According to Finnish Law, each Finnish vocational curriculum includes entrepreneurship education, and a vocational degree should guarantee the competence for independent business ownership. The restructuring of the Finnish vocational education system meant that at least 20 credit units of work-based learning and everyday contact with entrepreneurs are included in the 120 credit units of the vocational study programme. This study sets out to see what the entrepreneurial culture in Finnish rural areas is like and whether it gives cultural room for the young students from vocational institutes to become entrepreneurs. Basically, vocational education is culture-bound and the cooperation between educational institutes and entrepreneurs depends largely on mutual understanding of each other. The methodology used is qualitative triangulation; cultural narratives, metaphor analysis and theory-based rating of the sectoral business cultures according to the theory of cultural differences by Hofstede (2001) are used. CULTURE AND CULTURAL DIMENSIONS According to Hofstede (2001), culture is the collective programming of the mind. Still, not everyone in a given culture adheres to the same dominant thought pattern. Hofstede found four cultural dimensions originally from an international questionnaire study of IBM employees, which asked people about an imaginary ideal job....
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