The Emergence and Survival of High-Technology Ventures in Europe
Edited by Jan Ulijn, Dominique Drillon and Frank Lasch
Chapter 11: Value Diversity for Innovativeness in the Multicultural Society of Estonia
Rebekka Vedina, Gerhard Fink and Maaja Vadi* INTRODUCTION In this chapter, we shall investigate the potential eﬀects that cultural similarities and diﬀerences between the two major cultural groups, ethnic Estonians and people belonging to the Russian-speaking community, might have on the inclination to innovate. We shall study whether the required capabilities, based on instrumental and terminal values, are available in Estonia; and whether these values are equally distributed within and between these groups, or whether more intense cooperation between Estonians and Russian speakers would be required to invest complementary values into new hybrid corporate cultures that have yet to emerge in order to foster innovation. This is an important issue, since the Estonian performance in innovation is rather disappointing at present. Relative private sector innovation expenditure amounts to only 22 per cent of the EU average (Republic of Estonia, 2005: 23). In the year 2000, in Estonia the innovation expenditures of companies as a percentage of turnovers amounted to 1.43 per cent (EU average was 2.15 per cent, ibid.: 31). The rather poor performance in innovation is in obvious contrast with the observation that Estonia is doing pretty well in various rankings on economic freedom and factors that are supposed to determine international competitiveness or usage of new technologies. In this chapter, we shall try to explain this contrast by going beyond the visible and easily grasped features, which form the basis of these kinds of competitiveness rankings, and provide research into the less obvious, but possibly more...
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