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Rethinking the Case Study in International Business and Management Research

Edited by Rebecca Piekkari and Catherine Welch

This important and original book critically evaluates case study practices and calls for a more pluralistic future for case research in international business (IB) and international management (IM).
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Chapter 25: Conducting Processual Studies in Transition Economies: Reflections on a Case Study

Martin Johanson


Martin Johanson INTRODUCTION: IN SEARCH OF A CASE Picture the following scenario: early one morning a rather new doctoral student drove to an airport close to Stockholm. The spring had just begun to blossom and everyone was beginning to dream about the forthcoming summer. The student took off for Kaliningrad from Bromma airport with some colleagues in a small four-seater aircraft. After touching down on the island of Gotland in the middle of the Baltic Sea for refuelling, they arrived in rainy Kaliningrad. It was 1995 and the transition to a market economy in Russia had been ongoing for some years, but Kaliningrad, squeezed between Poland and Belarus, was still virgin land for Westerners. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) had decided to support several Swedish consultants in their attempts to reconstruct a handful of former state-owned but recently privatized Russian firms in the Kaliningrad district. The administration in the district had chosen the firms that were to take part in the project, and the doctoral student was commissioned to visit three firms located in Kaliningrad to collect data and prepare a brief report on each of them. This information was to be the basis for the next step in the consulting project. The doctoral student also nurtured hopes that one of these three firms would be interested in participating in his dissertation. The firms were Kvarts, Fakel and Mikrodvigatel. The first two were based in the city of Kaliningrad, whereas Mikrodvigatel was located in Gusev, a town a...

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