Munich Personal RePEc Archive

‘Waste culture’ assessment using Hofstede’s and Schwartz’s cultural dimensions – an EU case study

Halkos, George and Petrou, Kleoniki Natalia (2018): ‘Waste culture’ assessment using Hofstede’s and Schwartz’s cultural dimensions – an EU case study.

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The issue of municipal solid waste (MSW) arisings has received great attention recently as it is a by-product of economic activity but also serves as an input to the economy through material or energy recovery. In relation to that, the main focus of this study is cultural formation and especially the current picture of waste culture and public perception across European Union (EU) Member States. Thus this study will first evaluate environmental efficiency with Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) based on five parameters: waste, gross domestic product (GDP), labour, capital, and population density for 22 EU Member States and for the years 2005, 2010 and 2015 in order to evaluate which Member States are more efficient. Then the results from the efficiency analysis are contrasted to Hofstede’s and Schwartz’s cultural dimensions on STATA with the use of regression modelling. Results show that for year 2005 no significant relationship is noticed between the efficiency scores and the cultural dimensions’ data from both researchers, whereas for years 2010 and 2015 there appears to be a significant connection with changes in the predictors also affecting the response variable. The above mentioned findings can be associated with the financial crisis that has hit Europe after 2008 making people more skeptical on environmental issues and how waste is best to be managed making sense financially but also environmentally. At the same time EU legislations have laid out some important Directives in the field of waste management. Finally, along with the factors above, EU has faced severe environmental challenges due to waste arisings, as well as accidents and injuries for people working in this sector which in turn have widely modified EU’s waste culture as supported by this study’s results.

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