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Management in Russia

After discussing team’s experience in working in Russian companies, it was noticed that Russian managers as well as managers from Kazakhstan tend to possess in average low level of trust for new technologies and services that appear on the market. This section reviews the constraints for innovations in Russian management. It is essentially important for the purposes of the project to understand how managers might react on introduction of cloud consulting services and which form of an enterprise would look more trustworthy, i.e. cloud consulting as a part of IBM or a separate startup.

Even though study of organizational behavior of workers and managers in particular in Russia is only appearing, there is a substantial amount of material on the topic. Generally stating, scholars have three major opinions on managerial styles and values. First opinion is that most managers still pursue authoritarian and rather conservative, at some points Soviet, management style. On the other hand, some researchers suggest that the new generation of management is arising. Those managers who are not heavily influenced by the Soviet management heritage, they went through various types of Western trainings or got Western-style business education, have international managerial experience, and are more eager to learn and try new methods of managing business (Balabanova et al., 2015). Finally, there are passive managers, who possessed negative attributes, scoring relatively low on the responsibility taking orientation, relatively low on being supportive and democratic and relatively low on authoritarianism. Those passive managers are considered as the least competent type and, most likely, be neither helpful nor harmful for introduction of cloud consulting in Russia.

Authors made a research on Russian management values and styles. The sample included a total of 2,551 local respondents employed in 80 Russian owned business organizations operating in 14 different industries and situated in eight different geographical regions. The respondents included 1,210 blue-collar workers, 663 white-collar specialists, 509 line and middle managers, and 169 HR-specialists. The analysis in the present paper focusses on the 509 line and middle managers in 14 industries. After excluding 27 responses which could not be used for analyses, the final sample consisted of 482 managers.

Outcomes of the research of Balabanova et al. (2015) on Russian managerial values and styles revealed interesting results. Authors found, that despite the 33 percent of managers are trying to adopt innovative and new methods of managing and doing business, those changes are rather slow.

Authors highlighted the following trends and features of Russian management and business environment. First, the strong State bureaucracy in Russia and the strengthening of the State control over economic development during the 2000s make Russian businesses today legally vulnerable and largely dependent upon the State authorities. Second, there is also the weak legitimacy of formal institutions. It fosters the formation of strong culturally based, informal institutions and business practices, i.e. networks and connections known as “blat,” on which managers often rely on in their activities. For example, in labor relations or in adopting new tools or strategies for business. The low level of trust toward institutions in the Russian society, which is one of the lowest worldwide, contributes to the prioritization of personal loyalty over professional qualities in the workplace. Scholars characterize Russian business environment as “clannish” environment, where high importance is assigned to connections to and loyalty toward those who are higher in social and organizational hierarchy.

All of those findings provide understanding that it might be not easy to “educate” Russian management about benefits of cloud consulting and make them trust it. Some managers might seek personal gain in cloud consulting (“otkat”), which may also have a negative impact on the image of the business and become an obstacle for the implementation. Managers who adopt conservative and authoritarian Soviet-style practices most likely would refuse to use cloud consulting as something unclear, vague, and unnecessary. Moreover, introducing cloud consulting to Russian business will require “fighting” with massive State bureaucratic apparatus in order to get all the formalities solved. Having all the legal and other formalities resolved and clearly presented, may decrease managers’ initial mistrust to cloud consulting. Finally, authors state that the organizational practices and norms that have developed and become established in Russian organizations and management can be viewed as a mix partly inherited from the Soviet period, partly copied from western standards, and partly imposed on businesses by the State authorities. This gives a hope that cloud consulting might find its clients and relatively stable demand over time. However, this might be found only after the interviews with managers, which are to be described in the following sections of the report.

Date: 2015-12-18; view: 2499

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