Networks in the Russian Market Economy
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Networks in the Russian Market Economy

By Markku Lonkila
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Book Description

If Russia has become a market economy, how does it function on a grassroots level? In addition to market mechanisms, what kinds of social and moral principles are at work in the new Russian economy? Is the 'Soviet legacy' still present in post-Soviet business practices? This book searches for answers to these questions, by investigating the networking practices of the Russian software industry. It examines what kinds of resources are transmitted through the personal networks of Russian IT directors and managers, and which mechanisms govern this transmission. The volume opens a rarely available grassroots-level view into the business practices of the new Russian knowledge-based economy. This book is essential reading for all interested in Russian society, culture and economy.

Print edition available from Palgrave.

Table of Contents
  • Cover
  • Contents
  • List of Figures and Tables
  • Note on Transliteration
  • Preface
  • 1 Introduction
    • The software industry as an exemplary case of the functioning of the Russian market economy
    • The role of social networks in the Soviet and Russian economy and society
    • Incorporating cultural and moral aspects into studies of networks in the Russian economy
    • Structure of the book
  • 2 Using Networks to Find Out about Networks
    • The significance of personal networks in studies of the Russian economy
    • The qualitative approach in social network analysis
    • Network data and how to get them
    • Limitations of the study
    • Problems of generalization
  • 3 The Evolution of Russia's IT Sector
    • Arcadia: The birth of a St. Petersburg software company
    • Computing in the Soviet Union
    • Information technology and the collapse of the Soviet Union
    • The ICT sector in the Post-Soviet Russian economy
  • 4 The Soviet Legacy and its Transformation in the Russian IT Field
    • Constraining and enabling aspects of the Soviet legacy
    • Soviet organizations as platforms for the emerging economy
    • Entrepreneurship and Soviet legacy
    • Blat: Transformation of the Soviet-era networking practice
    • Blat in post-Soviet Russia
    • Barter: A transitory phenomenon of exchange
    • Otkat: The role of 'kickbacks' in the Russian economy
    • Other informal practices in the post-Soviet Russian economy
    • Prevalence of criminal practices in the Russian economy
  • 5 Social Milieus and Personal Network Growth in the St. Petersburg IT Industry
    • Schools and universities
    • Internet milieus
    • The Russian Software Developers Association (RUSSOFT)
    • Birthdays as foci of interaction
  • 6 The Types of Economic Resources Transmitted through the Networks of St. Petersburg IT Professionals
    • Business ideas and partners
    • Clients
    • Starting capital
    • Office space
    • Jobs
    • Advice and information
    • Services
  • 7 Social Mechanisms Governing the Informal Transactions between Russian IT Managers
    • Reciprocal expectations in Russian managers' transactions
    • Brokerage
    • The mixing of personal and professional spheres of life
  • 8 The Spirit of Russian IT Capitalism
    • The connexionist spirit of Western capitalism
    • The domestic spirit of Russian IT capitalism
  • 9 Conclusions
  • Appendix: List of Respondents
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index
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