UK (Hofstede insights) Therefore a country will be move

UK vs. Russia

Different national cultures have
different viewpoints on creativity and innovation. In this essay I will look at
the countries UK and Russia and compare and contrast the different levels of
creativity in both countries and explain why the nature of creativity varies
from country to country. National culture is the set of norms, behaviours,
beliefs and customs that exist within a nation. In
today’s dynamic environment managing innovation and creativity is key to
success. Creativity is a very broad topic and there are many different reasons
as to why it can vary, for the purpose of this essay I will be focusing on
three themes that impact creativity and innovation which are; culture,
structure and motivation. Creativity is defined as the ability
to combine ideas in a unique way to produce something new and useful (Boddy,
2017)

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The Global innovation index shows that the UK has an Innovation ranking
of 5 while Russia is behind with a ranking of 45. (Cornell University, 2017)
This shows that Russia does not stimulate creativity and innovation as
successfully as the UK.

National culture

It is a widely held belief that
culture is a factor that influences creativity.  Cultural values and norms will either meet or conflict with
a society’s ability to be creative and innovative. Using Hofstede’s cultural
dimensions, we can illustrate a culture most conducive to the development of
creativity. Hofstede (1980) demonstrates significant differences between countries
on such cultural dimensions such as: power distance, uncertainty avoidance,
individualism/collectivism, and masculinity/femininity. The differences in
these dimensions can help explain why the levels of creativity and innovation
are different in the UK and Russia.

The positive relationship between individualism and innovation found by
Rinne (2012) suggests that choice, independence, and freedom are beliefs that
are linked with individualism and these are needed for a nation to be
innovative. Individualism is defined as the degree of interdependence a society
maintains among its members. (Hofstede insights) Therefore a country will be
move likely to be innovative the higher its individualism. In the index Russia
scores 39 for individualism while the UK scores 89, which could explain why the
UK is more innovative. (Hofstede Insights)

With a score of 89 the UK has one of the highest Individualist scores.

In the UK much more emphasis is put on being individualist and people are
taught to think more for themselves, which helps to create a more innovative
culture. Whereas Russia score much lower on this dimension as in their society
it is seen as being very important to build and maintain relationships which
leads to people being more reliant on each other and not generating unique
ideas.

Hofstede’s second cultural dimension that has a significant impact on
creativity is large versus small power distance. Power distance refers to the
”extent to which less powerful members of organizations and institutions
accept and expect that power is distributed unequally” (Hofstede & Bond,
1988, p. 10).

Russia scores extremely high on this dimension with a score of 93. This
means that they take a very top down approach in business. People in societies
showing a large degree of power distance accept a hierarchical order in which
everybody has a place. This means that in many companies the CEO’s word will be
taken as law and alternative opinions are unheard of, this tends to stilt
creativity as employees are not willing to speak up or generate new ideas for
fear it will be seen as challenging authority.

On the other hand the UK has a much lower ranking of 35. This shows that
in the UK inequality is more minimised. This leads to business structures being
flatter and more work is conducted in teams. This creates a culture in which
people have easy access to managers and are more willing to generate and share
ideas than in Russia.

Structure  

Power distance has a strong influence on the structure of firms and this
structure has an influence on creativity and innovation. Mintzberg suggests
that there are six different models of structure that can be used by firms.  The first three structures involve
bureaucracy with a top down leadership approach. Then there is the matrix
organization, the project organization and the loosely coupled organic network.

These type of structures are seen as being structures that more effectively
stimulate creativity and innovation.(See appendix 2 for diagrams)

The way firms are structured plays a significant role in determining the
level of creativity and innovation within each country. Firms with fluid job
descriptions, loose organization charts, high communication, and few rules may
be conducive to innovation because they free developers from constraints,
allowing them to change flexibly and create novel ideas (Peters, 1994). The
structures that allow this are the project organization structure and the
loosely coupled organic network because they are network structures.

For many people autocracy and centralised decision-making are synonymous
with the Soviet system and this approach can undoubtedly be seen within large
Russian business organisations. Russian companies tend to be driven by one
strong central figure that will make strategic decisions with little or no
consultation with anyone other than a handful of close trusted advisors. In
many cases the boss will offer direct instructions which employees are expected
to follow. There is expected to be little communication or consultation from
people lower down the hierarchy. A clear example of this is the approach taken
by Russian presidents and how they go about their decision making process. In
Russia businesses have a tendency to be more bureaucratic with the emphasis put
on having one leader and employees are expected to follow rules and stay within
their job descriptions. Delegation is given in terms of managers giving exact
instructions to subordinates who are expected to perform their tasks with
little debate.

Although UK
businesses are traditionally hierarchical in structure, many British firms have
moved towards a flatter, less bureaucratic approach such as the matrix and
coupled organic network type structures. Much more emphasis is put on
networking and building relationships and therefore people are more likely to
go bring new ideas to their managers. In Britain it is seen as being much more
acceptable to bring new ideas to managers without it being seen as a challenge
of authority.

Motivation

Within every individual, creativity is a function of three components:
expertise, creative-thinking skills, and motivation. (Amabile,1998). For the
purpose of this essay I am going to look closer at the role of motivation and
how it can help to explain the differences in creativity between the UK and
Russia.

There are two types of motivation, extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic
motivation is a type of motivation that comes from outside the organization. It
works by getting people to do a job in order to get something desirable or to
avoid something negative. One of the most common extrinsic motivators used in
business is money; however using money by itself doesn’t make people feel
passionate about their jobs and therefore doesn’t tend to encourage creativity
as well as other motivators.

Amabile finds that an inner passion to solve the problem at hand leads
to solutions far more creative than external rewards, such as money, this is
known as intrinsic motivation. Diana Bogoyavlenskaya (1993) also stated that
creativity comes from internal motivation and from passion from an activity
itself. (Kaufman, J.C. & Sternberg, R.J. 2006)

According to data, for a very large majority of Russian employees (93%)
work is considered first as a source of income. Relative to income, most other
types of work motivation, it seems, are rarely found in the Russian economy. (Vasiliy
A. ANIKIN) This evidence shows that Russians tend to be more overly motivated
by money, which is an extrinsic motivator and tends not to stimulate
creativity. For example a Russian may choose a job that is higher paid over one
that interests them more and this could stifle creativity.

On the other hand a survey in the UK of over 1000 workers found that the
top motivator was ‘job enjoyment’ according to 59 per cent of respondents. (Monster
Hiring Resource Center, 2018) From the evidence it is shown that creativity is
likely to come from internal motivation rather than motivation from money which
is more likely to be stimulated in the UK than Russia.  Although money is still often used as a
motivator in the UK it is used much more widely in Russia and managers in the
UK are becoming much more aware of using other techniques to motivate
employees.

In conclusion it is clear that the nature of creativity varies between
countries, including the UK and Russia. This is partially due to the factors
considered during this essay. I think culture especially has one of the largest
impacts on creativity and without a culture that is conducive to allowing creativity
to take place it is very difficult to increase the level of creativity.

Specific cultures like a lower power distance allow for more creativity
therefore if Russia can try to lower this it will be easier to encourage more
creativity. The way firms are structured and motivations used also have an
impact. As creativity continues to grow in importance I think we will see the
business structures begin to change and countries will become more innovative.