Structures, Political Cultures and Social Practices
How Unwritten Rules Can Influence Human Resource Management in Russia
Since the early 1990s, Western companies have been operating successfully in Russia. Although their challenges and opportunities are constantly discussed in academic and nonacademic literature, trends in personnel management still remain under-researched (cf. Domsch and Lidokhover, 2007: 15). Human resource management, however, is one of the primary aspects that determine a company’s efficiency. Moreover, personnel management, as well as other aspects of professional and social life in Russia, is “filled” with informal practices that might be unknown by foreign employers.
Informal practices – the spoken and unspoken understandings that complement official procedures – often balance formal rules and laws. The informal practices that shaped post-Soviet business such as krugovaia poruka, double accountancy and blat have been explored by Ledeneva (1998, 2006, 2009) and Vacroux (2005). More specific studies, such as those on corruption and state influence on business activities of foreign companies operating in Russia have been made by Puffer and McCarthy (1995), Johnson et al. (2000), Roaf (2000), Cheloukhine and King (2007) and Denisova-Schmidt (2010, 2011c) respectively. Here, too, studies on human resource management are rare: there are only a few investigations that casually mention this issue (e.g. Ledeneva and Shekshnia, 2011). My chapter will address this shortcoming, and will be devoted to some unwritten rules governing human resource management in Russia. ← 379 | 380 →
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