Unity and Diversity
Edited by Bruce E. Kaufman
Chapter 14: Human resource management in Russia over a century of storm and turmoil: a tale of unrealized dreams
The history of human resource management (HRM) in Russia is an integral part of the general socio-economic development of the country. Russia is unique in its struggle to rise from a semi-feudal empire to one of the world’s two superpowers, only to be followed by a slide into deep economic depression. The communist experiment in Russia lasted for seventy years and scarred three generations so, unlike people living in Central and Eastern Europe or China, few in Russia prior to 1991 had ever lived under a free market economy. This chapter provides context for understanding the current situation of HRM in Russia through an historical review of relevant economic, social and political developments since the late 19th century. Our evaluation of Russian HRM is built on four interconnected metrics: * The level and change in working conditions and monetary rewards, social benefits, and moral incentives. * The balance between positive and negative motivation tools at the workplace. * Adoption of innovations by employees at all levels of the enterprise ranging from shop-floor workers and farm laborers to top executives. * The resulting dynamics of labor productivity, in part derived from these three variables. The chapter is organized as follows. The first section presents the major stages of the social history of Russia and briefly outlines the major HRM characteristics of each period. The following sections deal with the distinctive features of the Russian HRM system in those particular historical periods.
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