The New Russian Business Leaders

The New Russian Business Leaders

New Horizons in Leadership Studies series

Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries, Stanislav V. Shekshnia, Konstantin Korotov and Elisabeth Florent-Treacy

Based on extensive interviews with the pioneers of Russian business and the authors’ own experiences, this perceptive new book attempts to decipher the enigma of Russia’s new generation of business leaders. The authors present six in-depth case studies focusing on companies of vastly differing sizes, ranging from a newly-privatized operation, and the creation and organization of an oligarch’s empire, to several entrepreneurial start-ups in different service industries. The case studies document the changes and developments that have occurred in Russia since the privatization era of the 1990s, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the emerging business leadership orientations.

Preface

Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries, Stanislav V. Shekshnia, Konstantin Korotov and Elisabeth Florent-Treacy

Subjects: business and management, business leadership

Extract

I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma Winston Churchill The idea for a book about the new Russian business elite grew out of a preliminary study in 1998 of Russian business organizations and their leaders in the postperestroika era. The introduction of radical political and economic reforms by Boris Yeltsin and market-oriented members of the Russian government resulted in a dramatic transformation of Russian society. The consequence of many of these changes has been mixed, however. Certain segments of industry have profited from the new situation – among them, oil companies, some high-tech firms, and selected financial institutions. Some entrepreneurial organizations have flourished, whereas other companies in other segments ceased to exist soon after inception. At that time, each of the authors of this book was following developments in the country from their own point of interest. We decided to pool our strengths and explore the enigma together. It has proved to be a challenge. The fact that Russia is still in the middle of a radical transformation makes any attempt to decipher Russian business leadership styles an unnerving task. Every time we, the authors of this book, visit the country, we are tremendously impressed by the astonishing changes taking place there. Deciphering the enigma that is Russia becomes even more complex because the country is also extremely diverse – having long been a melting pot of different races, religions, languages, regions and cultures. The new Russian business leaders...