This book is the first in Studies in Economic Transition that looks at transition in Eastern Europe from a managerial and organizational point of view. Critical Management Research in Eastern Europe is innovative in the sense that a cultural perspective is chosen in order to address the progress and its setbacks of the transition from socialism to market economies. Culture is the main theme of the book guiding readers through the major issues of the transition: changes of practices, the role of the past for current identities; potential synergies between East and West European ways of thinking.
A main achievement of the book is its contribution to the understanding of how individuals and organizations influence and are influenced by the environmental context of transition. Case studies, discourse analysis as well as observation and introspection, are used. The freshness of the approach is supplemented with the autobiographical disclosures of the editors, who begin by describing their experiences when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. (At that time Mihaela Kelemen was in Transylvania and Monika Kostera in Warsaw. The editors of this series, however, were in Berlin, albeit on the Western side.) This difference of location implies totally different identities at that time, and this book traces back the interaction between these different cultural backgrounds since 1989.
Although a critical approach is taken, especially in its fields of gender and career developments, the overall tone of the book is overwhelmingly positive. We hope that Critical Management Research will help to overcome some of the obstacles of managing the transition and will be read by some of the academics and practitioners alike.