Terms and conditions apply: Management restructuring and the global integration of post-socialist societies

Leo McCann, Gregory Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The 'transition' from state socialism in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, and the substantial economic reforms in China, are two of the most significant economic and social processes in recent history. However, despite a growing literature dealing with management in post-socialist societies, there have been few attempts to establish a paradigmatic overview of the underlying causes and drivers of the transformation processes. In this paper we lay out a framework for understanding the emerging dynamics of management and organization in post-socialist societies. In doing so, we employ three related levels of analysis relating to: 1) the broader political economy in which nations and companies are located within the global hierarchy; 2) the different national level institutions that give form to the nature of management restructuring; and 3) the social relations of production at the level of the workplace, which determine the forms of labour management. Central to our argument is the view that the emerging forms of management, while differing according to the distinct terms and conditions under which they are integrated into the world economy and the institutional means by which they meet the challenges and opportunities offered by the world market, are tending towards the subordination of the work systems to the neoliberal form of world capitalism. In particular, this entails the establishment of the most benign environment possible for the expansion of capital, entailing the augmentation of managerial prerogative and 'low-road' employment practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1339-1352
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2006


  • Management restructuring
  • Post-socialist societies
  • Transition to capitalism

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