Unlocking the economic potential: How attitudes and culture shape development | By Dr Asif Maqsood Butt


Unlocking the economic potential: How attitudes and culture shape development

ATTITUDE and culture significantly impact a country’s economic development. Positive attitude towards entrepreneurship, innovation and risk-taking encourage investment, job creation and economic development, while negative attitude impedes progress. Cultural values and practices shape a country’s economic landscape, affecting factors such as labour productivity, business ethics and social norms. Understanding the relationship between attitude, culture and economic development is crucial to formulating effective policies for sustainable growth and prosperity.

Attitude is a fixed mindset about something. The Theory of Reasoned Action and Theory of Planned Behaviour propose that individuals are rational beings, evaluating positive and negative emotions to make decisions. Factors impact attitude, including needs, social learning, group relationships, personality traits, and cultural influence. Culture is a collective social behaviour, institutions and norms found in human societies which includes the collective knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, customs, capabilities and habits of the individuals in these groups.

Culture, in the sociological field, refers to the ways of thinking, acting and material objects that shape people’s way of life. It is the cultivation of individuals through external forms that have been objectified in history. Non-material culture includes values, beliefs, rules, norms, languages, organizations and institutions, while material culture includes physical evidence of a culture, such as objects and architecture. The term is relevant in archeological and anthropological studies, encompassing all material evidence attributed to culture, past or present.

Development indicators and indices: There are various types of macroeconomic and sociocultural indicators or “metrics” used by economists and geographers to assess the relative economic advancement of a given region or a nation. The world development Indicators cover a wide range of sectors including health, education, environment, economy, infrastructure and poverty. It contains over 1,400 indicators that are updated annually, and are widely used by researchers, policymakers and development practitioners to monitor development, progress and identify trends, as well as to inform policy decisions and evaluate the effectiveness of development programs.

Community economic development encourages using local resources in a way that enhances economic opportunities while improving social conditions in continuity a sustainable community growth. There is need to develop positive attitude and practices which are essential to attain the quality adjusted life years, healthy communities and the culture acts as  a pillar and supports to build and strengthen the economy.

The field of economic development has become a specialized industry with practitioners playing two key roles: providing leadership in policy-making and administering policy, programs and projects. Practitioners typically work in public offices at the state, regional or municipal level, or in public-private partnerships that receive funding from various levels of government. Their primary focus is to identify new economic opportunities and retain existing businesses to stimulate growth and prosperity in their communities.

Attitude and culture impact economic development. Positive attitude and cultural values promote productivity, ethics and social norms, leading to economic growth. Negative attitude and cultural practices hinder development. Understanding this relationship is crucial for effective policy-making. By promoting positivity and cultural values that support economic development, countries can achieve long-term development and prosperity.

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