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Why has Viimsi become the wealthiest community in post‐socialist Estonia? Explaining one small community's success in a changing world

Tomi Ovaska (Department of Economics, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio, USA)
Robert B. Anderson (Paul J. Hill School of Business, University of Regina, Regina, Canada)

International Journal of Development Issues

ISSN: 1446-8956

Publication date: 6 July 2010

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a qualitative study of economic development attempts to uncover the critical factors behind the recent economic rise of Viimsi, Estonia, to that of the wealthiest community in the country.

Design/methodology/approach

The roles of and interactions among various community stakeholder groups are explored through two sets of resident surveys. From these surveys, and a rich set of secondary material, a narrative emerges as to the factors behind Viimsi's success since 1991, when Estonia regained its independence from the former Soviet Union and its system of economic central planning.

Findings

It was found that among the key components explaining why Viimsi has become the wealthiest community in Estonia are its extraordinary openness in embracing the market system, combined with a consensus‐based plan among community stakeholders on balanced development, a dependable government, and a level of solidarity among fellow residents in facing change.

Originality/value

This paper describes one small community's experience in the global world, and offers observations on successful strategies for a community navigating in it.

Keywords

Citation

Ovaska, T. and Anderson, R.B. (2010), "Why has Viimsi become the wealthiest community in post‐socialist Estonia? Explaining one small community's success in a changing world", International Journal of Development Issues, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 146-166. https://doi.org/10.1108/14468951011062345

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited