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Emerging Russian entrepreneurship as viewed by the experts

русская версия

Опубликовано на портале: 25-04-2011
Мир России. 1994.  Т. 3. № 1. С. 36-54. 
Тематический раздел:
This paper is a slightly revisited version of that presented at the First European Congress of sociology (26-29 August, Wien). Session I/1: "Economic Integration and Cultural Identity".Social and economic origins of the new Russian entrepreneurship; the distinctive features of enterprising activities and new labor relations; the state of business ethics and social attitudes of entrepreneurs — all these issues are reflected by experts in the field. A survey has been conducted in 1992 as a set of in-depth interviews with scholars, government officials, business consultants and entrepreneurs.Summing up all expert assessments one can visualize at least two portraits of Russian entrepreneur combined from the most common features. We would see two middle-aged men, both with engineering background, but having come to business in different ways.The first one is a bit older. Recently he was a manager of a slate-run enterprise. After privatization he has become both a factual owner and a manager of a private firm. Utilizing state-owned resources and maintaining his personal networks with the other fellow-managers and acquaintances in the banks and local authorities he goes on with the same thoroughly known activities.The second one was a professional at the state-run institution before. Having managed to obtain a cheap bank loan he started from the scratch and develop a production of some goods in scarce. In a while facing the economic crisis he is enforced to move capitals more to trade-and-purchasing activities. To survive he is trying to start a great bulk of new projects one tenth of which at best become feasible.Both entrepreneurs work for very long days always looking for the new, especially foreign, business contacts. They are active, self-confident and believe that they can manage almost any area of business. They obviously present the authoritarian type of a manager seeking for personal loyalty and confidence from their subordinates.Entrepreneurs are taking pains to avoid clearly illegal transactions but not always successfully. They also do not stop before deceiving, if possible, state institutions as well as bribing ethics but still expect a fair play from their close and permanent partners.Entrepreneurs are not religious though would not demonstrate their atheistic feelings. Their interest in politics is largely superficial and declining. They do not believe that anyone would benefit from charities. They are becoming more self-reliable and pragmatic.The outcomes of this survey of experts present the introductory part of a more extended research project on emerging Russian entrepreneurship. Research project is headed by the author and supported by the Institute of Economics, Russian Academy of sciences and by Moscow Interdisciplinary Academic Center for Social Sciences (InterCenter)