Learning managers in a transforming economy: the case of St. Petersburg

RAIMO BLOM, HARRI MELIN, ALFRED SARNO, UNIVERSITY OF TAMPERE, FINLAND
IRINA SARNO, THE BALTIC INSTITUTE OF FINLAND
Purpose – 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 that 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 analyse these problems. Many of the problems of manager training manifest themselves in the period of transition of firms towards innovative development. Accordingly, the main research question posed in the study is: what obstacles/hindrances must be overcome for the successful development of manager training, and what is the role of innovation systems in the development of manager training?
Design/methodology/approach – The general theoretical concept of the dissertation was based on the theory of modernisation and globalisation. During the analysis of practice managers, we used the theory of management. Analysis of factors in the success of firms was based on the theory of social capital. The triangulation method has been used: first, the empirical material was collected by questionnaire survey; second, in-depth interviews with representatives of different groups of managers were conducted; third, a case study of 14 Learning managers in a transforming economy: the case of St. Petersburg 198 companies in St. Petersburg was conducted; and fourth, we used official statistics, as well as publications that describe various aspects of management.
Findings – We were able to empirically demonstrate that the activity of educational managers is a significant factor in accelerating the transition process in countries with transforming economies such as Russia. There is a strong positive correlation between the educational activity of a firm’s managers and the firm’s innovativeness. An analysis of empirical data revealed a positive correlation between educational activity managers and the internal and external social capital of firms. Two aspects of the informal training of managers were focused on: constructive training and unconstructive training. We were able to identify a trend: the greater the innovative potential of firms, the less intensive is the unconstructive informal training of managers. Empirical evidence has shown a tendency: trust of managers in major actors in the economic and social life of the country appears to be a very important condition for the effectiveness of both management development and manager training.
Originality/value – There is a strong positive correlation between the educational activity of a firm’s managers and the firm’s innovativeness. An analysis of empirical data revealed a positive correlation between educational activity managers and the internal and external social capital of firms. Two aspects of informal training of managers were focused on: constructive training and unconstructive training. We were able to identify a trend: the greater the innovative potential of firms, the less intensive is the unconstructive informal training of managers.
Keywords: Innovation systems, Educational activity managers, Manager training, Transforming economies
Paper type Research paper
Outlook Blom et al.pdf
Outlook Blom et al.pdf
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