Modelling cultural, national and innovation identities in order to understand New Zealand's modest innovation performance


  • Tiffany Rinne
  • John Fairweather



cultural models, cultural consensus, culture, innovation


In a world that has moved swiftly to global trade, innovation rates have become one of the tools by which nations achieve success in the world. New Zealand is a middling international performer with regards to innovation. Utilizing discourse analysis and cultural consensus analysis we built models of New Zealand culture, national identity and innovation identity in order to gain insights into cultural and identity attributes that help and hinder New Zealand’s level of innovation. Results show that while inventiveness is an important cultural trait, a trait based in New Zealand’s history as a pioneering nation, there are other cultural factors such as a ‘make do’ attitude, the tall poppy syndrome, and an emphasis on lifestyle which potentially limit the innovation performance of New Zealand.

Author Biographies

Tiffany Rinne

Tiffany Rinne is a research associate at Lincoln University in the Agribusiness and Economics Research Unit working on a New Zealand Foundation for Research, Science and Technology funded project on technology user innovation. She received her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Georgia in the United States. Her research interests include cognitive anthropology, science and technology studies and applied anthropology. Correspondences can be addressed to Agribusiness and Economics Research Unit, P.O. Box 84, Lincoln University, Lincoln 7647, New Zealand, 64 3 321 8032.

John Fairweather

John Fairweather is a professor and full-time social science researcher attached to Lincoln University’s agribusiness and economics research unit. His work in applied sociology primarily deals with describing, monitoring, and interpreting changes in farming and rural society. Additional research activity focuses on research methods, farmer resilience, causal mapping of farm systems, environmental orientations of farmers, farming styles, and user innovation.




How to Cite

Rinne, T., & Fairweather, J. (2011). Modelling cultural, national and innovation identities in order to understand New Zealand’s modest innovation performance. Sites: A Journal of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, 8(2), 77–105.