Free Market in Its Twenties

Free Market in Its Twenties

Free Market in Its Twenties

Free Market in Its Twenties

Synopsis

This book provides a broadly managerial perspective on key trends that affect business decision-making in Central and Eastern Europe twenty years after the beginning of the region's transition to market economy. Reflecting different viewpoints, including economic, social, and political approaches, the essays helps managers of the region to understand better both regional and the global forces influencing their businesses - as well as to bring to their attention relevant cutting-edge approaches to business thinking and decision-making.

Excerpt

The story of the rise of democracy and a market economy in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) over the past twenty-five years is often told as a series of historic events: the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the brutality of the Balkan Wars, the accession of a number of cee states to nato, the “color revolutions” in a number of post-Soviet countries, and the eastward enlargement of the European Union. But behind these obviously monumental events—sometimes spectacular, sometimes tragic, and often both—lies another story: that of the effort to build the fledging cee market economies. This largely untold story is less about politicians and more about managers and entrepreneurs seizing remarkable economic opportunities that history has given them.

In my writings, I have often emphasized the reflexive relationship between thinking and reality: We create conceptual frameworks to make sense of the reality that surrounds us, but these frameworks end up affecting and distorting the reality itself. Applying this reflexive prism, we may conclude that the overwhelming focus of the cee public discourse on macro-political narratives, and the concomitant neglect of managerial and entrepreneurial narratives, contributed to the poor record of the region in areas such as innovation and global competitiveness.

Political economy often focuses on the interplay of factors influencing large groups of people, but managerial and entrepreneurial perspectives taught at modern business schools emphasize organizational decision making and indi-

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