Academic journal article Journal of East European Management Studies

Westernization of the East or Easternization of the West?

Academic journal article Journal of East European Management Studies

Westernization of the East or Easternization of the West?

Article excerpt

Dear Reader,

The headline of my editorial mirrors the topic of this years' Chemnitz East Forum, held in September at Chemnitz University of Technology.

The overall aim of the East Forum is to establish an exchange of knowledge and experiences between academics from Eastern and Western Europe. Moreover, co-operations between universities should be established in order to bring forward European integration. This years' conference addressed topics like the spread of management practices in CEE countries compared to the West, leadership in international co-operations, East-West joint ventures, as well as governance and board structures of CEE firms or East-West joint ventures.

The presentations and discussions highlighted the fact that East-West-cooperation is still characterized by a transfer of knowledge, concepts and practices from West to East. Taking a closer look, however, reveals that there is not just a simple transfer of solutions. This process is particularly affected by national, regional or organizational culture as well as for example the branch the company is operating in. As a consequence Western concepts are re-interpreted and changed what leads to an altered understanding of their appropriateness and effectiveness. Overall, however, a westernization of the East could be observed. The reverse process, that is the influence of specific Eastern concepts and/or altered Western concepts on Western companies or more generally the Western community, is still at an early stage.

All of the articles in this issue more or less definite address the question of East-West-influences, however, from their very specific perspective. Most of them focus on the transfer of western concepts to CEE countries.

Peeter Vahtra, Kari Liuhto and Harri Lorentz bring up the question of privatisation or re-nationalisation in Russia. Against the background of an increasing state involvement in the Russian enterprise sector witnessed in the recent past they discuss the development of privatisation and corporate governance in Russia in comparison to other countries of the so called Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Referring to the title of our editorial this article is of particular interest as fast and comprehensive privatization is usually seen as a key concept of transforming the economy in CEE. However, is this really the case? Especially regarding Russia and the three company cases provided in the article, doubts could be raised.

Elena A, Iankova addresses the Europeanization of social partnership in EU-acceding countries. She highlights that the candidate countries from the formerly communist region had developed more liberal regimes during the post-communist transformation, and were practicing a rather different kind of social partnership. As reaction of these circumstances, the EU included special requirements and recommendations for the strengthening of the forms of negotiations among the social partners in candidate countries. …

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