This paper aims to analyze how surviving norms from the Soviet time continue to shape women’s entrepreneurship in contemporary Russia.
The empirical data are based on observations and qualitative interviews in two Russian regions in 2002-2014 and also to a part on a survey from one of the regions. The analytical framework is based on Douglass North’s (1990) categorization of four main kinds of institutions which influence the way a society develops: legal rules, organization forms, enforcement and behavioural norms.
The analysis shows that it is important to incorporate norms connected to women’s societal roles to the institutional theory. The survival of norms might in fact imply that women’s entrepreneurship tends to conserve the ways the system works, rather than to contributing to changing it. Although the survival of such norms tends to prevent changes, the possibility to start private businesses, on the other hand, opened up new ways for women to fulfill their different societal responsibilities.
The paper is based on unique empirical data including some 200 interviews and observations from regular field trips to villages and small towns in Russia since the early 2000s.
The research and field work has been supported by the Swedish Institute, Swedish Research Council, Finnish Centre of Excellence in Russian Studies, Helsinki/Tampere University and Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Uppsala University. Field research in Russia has been contributed much by Inez Backlund, Liya Kalinnikova, Irina Sadakova, Alexander Soldatkin and Alla Varyzgina. The author wants to express special gratitude to them and also to several other persons, not mentioned here, who participated in research work in different important roles. The author would like to express special thanks to Elisabet Ljunggren, Elisabeth Sundin, Leo Granberg and the two anonymous referees for their comments.
Sätre, A.-M. (2016), "Women’s entrepreneurship in Russia: impacts from the Soviet system", Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 53-69. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEC-08-2015-0045Download as .RIS
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