Learning Managers in a Transforming Economy:
The Case of Russia 1999-2006

By Irina Sarno
April 2012
Tampere University Press
Distributed by Coronet Books Inc.

ISBN: 9789514487415
259 pages

$87.50 Paper original

The radical social and economic reforms developed in Russia from the beginning of the 1990s in many respects confirm the substantive provisions of the transition theory. Major actors in Russian economic and social life have undertaken significant efforts to generate institutions similar to those which regulate economic and social life in the advanced western countries.

In this regard, an acute problem in the formal and informal training of managers has arisen. The study aims to identify and analyze these problems. Many of the problems of managers training manifest themselves in the period of transition of firms towards innovative development. Accordingly, the main research question posed in the study: what obstacles/hindrences must be overcome for the successful development of managers’ training, and what is the role of innovation systems in the development of managers training? The wide-scale Presidential Programme for the Training of Managers for the Russian Economy, has been an important source of information for revealing the problems of managers’ training. More than half of graduates in this program have been trained abroad. The analysis of training abroad showed that correctly organized exchange of professional experience, sharing the experience of the advanced western firms could yield valuable results.

During the empirical research of 270 firms in 2006 it was possible confirm the high capacity of the system of informal education for the professional training of managers, which provides training through practical work and through the exchange of experience. The development of innovation systems was demonstrably the strongest factor for the improvement of formal and informal training. A questionnaire study of the managers of 982 firms in various branches of the economy of St Petersburg and the Leningrad Region conducted in 2001 was devoted to the influence of innovation systems on managerial training. Managerial training serves as an element in the chain of reproduction of social capital. The study revealing mechanisms of the functioning of social capital, were largely based on the theory of modernization.

The very transition to an innovational way of development of the region, carried out purposefully, equipped managers with convincing knowledge of the absolute necessity to include their firms in innovational networks and to master new technologies of management, including innovative management. Both now and furthermore in the future innovational networks increasingly appear to be an effective resource and a tool for training managers. Accordingly, nowadays, the correct construction of a system of managerial training should ensure a purposeful connection of both the formal and informal training of managers into a uniform system. In this system both kinds of training should be coordinated and effectively supplement each other.

The study revealed that the trust of managers in the basic actors of economic and social life of the country was then at a very low level. This low level of trust significantly impaired the effectiveness of managers, impairing the effectiveness of formal and informal training. To enhance the effectiveness of both formal and informal training of Russian managers, there is a need to further develop the processes of transition, to actually form an innovation economy, to raise the level of trust of managers in the basic actors of economic and social life.


Acta Universitatis TamperensisNo. 1709


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