Academic journal article Management : Journal of Contemporary Management Issues

Business Culture in Croatia and Some Countries in Transition*

Academic journal article Management : Journal of Contemporary Management Issues

Business Culture in Croatia and Some Countries in Transition*

Article excerpt

The research of the business culture presented in this paper is concentrated on the profile of the business culture of postgraduate students in Business Administration in Croatia. That picture is really encouraging, and if we can imply that this is the category and the group of people that will gradually assume the leading role in the Croatian economy and business community, these results can be encouraging indications for the development of the entire business culture in Croatia. The research gives very interesting materials for different analyses and conclusions about the business culture in Croatia and its neighboring countries too - enabling comparative approach, as well. Still the profile of the business culture of postgraduate students in Business Administration may not represent a true picture of the general (average) profile of the business culture in Croatia. The latter is probably still weak and inadequate.

1. INTRODUCTION

Transition is a broad and widely used term, connected with many different fields and processes in modern society and economy. Passage from the 1980's to the 1990's has brought a new category: "countries in transition". Even though some developing countries such as Turkey, India, and Egypt can claim that they have been "in transition" for several decades; and many developed countries can point to periods and processes of transition, the term "countries in transition" has found a specific application in a distinct category of countries - the former communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Comprehensive changes in these countries since the late 1980's, by their breadth and magnitude, cannot be compared with any other country or group of countries. All aspects of the social and economic environment in theses countries were in transition.

The process of transition in Central and Eastern Europe has not only strived to introduce modern market mechanisms in these economies, but has also stressed needs for significant changes in business attitudes and behavior. Free market economy, in the sense of private business undertaking, was restricted, confined, hampered, suppressed, and even legally forbidden for decades in the transition countries. The mere concept of business was a new thing to those countries, thus business culture at the beginning of transition was definitely very far from what a modern market economy would require. On the other hand, it could be claimed that development of a modern, strong and consistent business culture has been a crucial factor of success in the process of transition.

Culture and cultural patterns (in business and in general) cannot be simply and deliberately changed in a short time. They are products of complex and long lasting processes that are still unexplained in many aspects. The business culture of a particular country is the product of many factors from its past and present that are so peculiar that they cannot ever be fully and finally understood and explained. Therefore, business culture in countries in transition cannot be explained exclusively either by their heritage from communist times, nor by their recent path through the transition period. Those countries have evidently had different starting cultural traits at the beginning of transition, as they certainly have developed different characteristics of business culture after 15 years of transition.

However, these countries have had some common characteristics, have passed though similar processes, and have followed similar goals, thus the development and traits of the business cultures in those countries could show a very interesting field for comparative studies. Focusing on a more homogenous group of countries in transition, like countries that made parts of the former Yugoslavia, could offer even better possibilities to study differences and influences in business culture development.

From such reasoning, an international research was initiated and designed by a team from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana, in 2005 (Prasnikar and Cirman, 2005). …

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