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SPP 245

Author: Igor Gurkov, Higher School of Economics, Moscow & Erasmus U., Rotterdam
Description: Privatization can only succeed if it affects the behaviour of individuals within enterprises as well as the formal structure of firms. This paper presents the results of an elaborate multi-industry survey of workers, managers and top executives, which produced measures of individual adaptation to transformation; job security; dispositions to learn new skills; and other work-related attitudes. Data was also collected about the performance of enterprises in which both workers and managers were interviewed. About one-fifth of managers and workers were classified as having adapted well to ownership change. Managers viewed privatization as increasing their capacity and workers tended to see it as reducing their influence at their place of work. Top managers rather than shareholders appear to be the effective real owners of privatized companies whatever the formal legal structure of the enterprise.

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