Changing performance among Russian retail workers: Effectively transferring American management techniques

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dianne H.B. Welsh, Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Recent political and social activities in Central and Eastern Europe have created an environment of "transformational change" (Jick, 1992). Jick describes such a magnitude of change as representing a complete abandonment of traditional behaviour, expectations and theories in favour of completely new alternatives or innovations. Such change may be a proactive decision for organizational renewal, or a reaction to recognized obsolescence. The concept of transformational change has also been recently popularized in practitioner work under the slogan of "Paradigm Shifts" (Barker, 1992). Paradigm shifts, in this context, are cited as a complete change in the rules, tools, and approaches to behaviour. Little stretching of the imagination is required to conclude that Central and Eastern European nations are currently experiencing paradigm shifts, or transformational change. Our focus in this article is on whether it is appropriate and effective to apply American management techniques to implement change in Russian enterprises. Current events in Russia provide an unprecedented opportunity for assessing the capability of existing theories of change and development to assist in revitalizing economic and management practices. While there is a closer cultural similarity to Western Europe (McNulty, 1992), Russia (as well as many other Central and Eastern European countries) has preferred to actively seek assistance from the United States. In response to these requests, American universities and federal agencies have created several programmes to facilitate the change process. Indeed, the desire of Central and Eastern Europeans to change, and the desire of Americans to help them change has led to many symbiotic relationships. We, the authors, have been fortunate enough to be involved in some of these efforts. However, before getting swept up in the current of good intentions, Americans might evaluate their ability to serve effectively as change agents in these ventures.

Additional Information

Journal of Organizational Change Management, 6(2), 34-50
Language: English
Date: 1993
Transformational Change, Paradigm Shifts

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