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Inter-firm cooperation in a transitional economy: Comparative experience in two Polish regions.

Muent, Holger (1998) Inter-firm cooperation in a transitional economy: Comparative experience in two Polish regions. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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After the collapse of the communist system in 1989, Poland embarked on the transition to a market economy. One of the main issues of the transformation is the creation of a strong private sector in the economy. The privatisation of state-owned enterprises has encountered considerable problems and lags behind expectations, whereas newly established small and medium-sized firms already play an important role both in terms of employment and output. These new firms, however, face problems which are peculiar to the transitional environment as well as difficulties which are similar to those experienced by small and medium-sized firms in more mature market economies. In response to these problems, Polish authorities and foreign donors are implementing support structures for small and medium enterprises which are based on Western models. Drawing on evidence from two Polish regions, this thesis compares the acceptance of these imported structures with cooperation structures that endogenously evolved between local enterprises. Apart from other local initiatives, two regional chambers of commerce serve as examples for transplanted support structures. Their role in the business environment is evaluated on the basis of a questionnaire survey among their members. This evidence is then contrasted with examples of informal inter-firm cooperation examined in four case studies. The social and economic relations between firms in these case studies are analysed following the embeddedness concept as developed by Granovetter (1985). The thesis argues that the import of formal institutions from Western market economies meets with difficulties regarding credibility and acceptance, since they reflect the specific conditions in the economies in which they evolved. Thus, the institutional support for small and medium-sized enterprises in Poland should take into account the case-specific structures of the business environment, which are rooted in the distinctive features of the transition process in general and of the regional situation in particular.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Economics, General, East European Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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