A Russian Factory Enters the Market Economy by Claudio Morrison

By Claudio Morrison

This booklet charts the reports of a cloth firm in Russia in the course of the Nineteen Nineties, analysing post-Soviet administration and managerial practices so one can light up the content material, nature and course of commercial restructuring within the Russian privatised region in the course of the years of financial transition. in accordance with large factory-level fieldwork, it focuses upon adjustments in possession, administration and labour company, unveiling the advanced texture of social, communal and gender relatives within the place of work over a longer time period, together with via trouble and financial ruin, acquisition by way of new capitalist proprietors and tried restructuring. It argues, opposite to dominant Western managerial theories which blame the failure of transition at the irrationality of Russian managerial innovations, that the explanation for the ongoing reliance on Soviet period managerial practices lay within the strange kind of social family members within the place of work which have been attribute of the Soviet procedure. It engages with key concerns, frequently overlooked within the literature, similar to social domination, energy and clash, that trap the challenging and open-ended personality of social and fiscal transformation in post-Soviet creation. It demonstrates that faraway from an easy transition to a marketplace financial system, the post-Soviet transition has reproduced lots of the beneficial properties of the outdated Soviet procedure, together with its styles of labour kin.

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And this seemed to be very much the moment for me to step in, so 1 The generalised impoverishment, of which women workers were the primary victims, and the presence of a large female workforce – Ivanovo was, after all, the ‘city of brides’ – increased the likelihood of such occurrences. 24 A Russian factory enters the market economy I protested that the designer was a mature woman and a serious professional and that he had to bear in mind that there were roles at work which should be above private concerns.

At first, workers reacted with fear and distrust towards my activities and put up a defensive attitude. For a start, they responded to my questionnaire collectively. My landlady later, so as to mitigate my disappointment at the matter, observed that women workers fear exposing themselves and would not stand up individually in an open context. Such a reaction was not universal; a number of women from the shops volunteered for interview. This was the case with women that for a number of reasons, such as a different professional or ethnic background, seemed not to fit entirely into the social and cultural framework of the shop.

In some cases, my unusual, for an Italian, surname prompted the question whether I myself had Jewish origins. The struggle for access 21 was certainly influenced by the fact that, for a short period, I had been granted the privileges usually reserved to top-ranking officials; this included accommodation in a two-storey dacha, meals specially prepared by the director’s chef, and a black Volga with a driver. It was a cultural shock to many to learn that shortly afterwards I had moved to a block of post-war flats housing mostly impoverished pensioners and drunkards.

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