The Economic Transformation of Eastern Europe: Views from Within

By Bernard S. Katz; Libby Rittenberg | Go to book overview

Chapter 10
Polish Firms in Transition
Mieczyslaw W. Socha and Urszula SztanderskaDuring the first year of changing the Polish economy from a centrally planned to a market model, the most thorough changes have taken place in the area of macroeconomic policy. Transformation of the economic system in the state enterprise sector is considerably slower, holding back the pace of change in the entire national economy. The causes behind this sluggishness are the subject of this chapter.We shall be seeking answers to the following three questions:
1. Did the enterprises have an awareness of the modalities involved in smooth adjustment to a market environment?
2. What constraints did they encounter in their actual efforts to adjust?
3. To what extent were they willing to abandon their traditional economic conduct under the impact of changed macroeconomic policies?

The main review will be preceded by a brief characterization of state enterprises prior to embarking on system changes, along with a presentation of their operations during the first eleven months of 1990. 1


ENTERPRISE WITHOUT ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Polish enterprises at the close of 1989 differed substantially from the sort of companies functioning in the U.S. and West European economies. First, they operated in the non-private (state and cooperative) sector, which accounted for 80 percent of the gross domestic product and employed

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