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Regular version of the site

Socio-cultural factors of economic development

2008

The psychological view of socio-economic development has its specifics as it focuses on people and their needs, motives, emotions, perceptions and beliefs, acting sometimes illogically and irrationally rather than on macroeconomic and social problems. Moreover, many of these perceptions and behavior motives are impregnated with culture in which their holders have undergone socialization,  determining the cultural specifics of many economic, politic, and social processes both at the individual and group level in different countries.

Research target: socio-cultural factors facilitating economic development.

Research objectives:

  1. To develop a theoretical concept of socio-cultural predictors of economic consciousness and behavior and to test it in a pilot research work;
  2. To reveal the interrelation between socio-economic suggestions and perception of different social categories of Russians with socio-cultural dimension of modern Russian society (values as defined by G. Hofstede and Sh. Schwartz, cultural dimensions as defined by F. Trompenaars, social axioms as defined by M. Bond and K. Leung, and characteristics of social capital).

The research included a socio-psychological survey (330 respondents).

The results of the correlation analysis revealed different measurement axes : “individual risk" - “group consent” and “activity of the power-wielding" - “harmony of the equal”. The results of factorial and cluster analysis of cultural dimensions revealed four pairs of opposite measurement axes of cultural dimensions: "dependence on social medium" - “individual independence”, “vertical collectivism” – “equality”, “search for pleasure” – “wisdom”, “traditionalism” – “individual achievement”. The results of the multi-dimensional scaling showed mega dimensions: “traditionalism” – “individual achievement".

The results of the factorial analysis of all cultural dimensions and economic suggestions and perceptions showed 12 major factors reflecting the relationship between culture and economic suggestions: "wealth for the chosen ones”, “self-realization”, “intellectual independence”, "harmony”, "readiness for collective risk”, “individual hedonism”, “economics of trust”, “long-time horizon”, “economics of power”, “wealth of power”, “fear of risk”, “fear of responsibility”. Factors unrelated to economic development: “self-realization”, “intellectual independence”, “harmony”, “individual hedonism”.

Russian youth perceives economic development and its results as directly related to power affiliation, and people do not believe in the possibility of self-realization in the economic sphere, i.e. individual energy and self-realization efforts result in virtually no economic development and are not in demand in modern Russian economic and social life. The research showed that cultural specifics of Russia instead promote a collective (nation-wide) model of economic development. However, this lack of demand for personal energy and self-realization substantially hampers an accelerated economic development and impedes the innovation development of Russia’s economy. This fact leads to the wide-spread emergence of socio-economic institutions in Russia – so that people can overcome cultural and psychological barriers and take risk and responsibility for their own economic security.