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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2008

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Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1993

Nigel Holden and Andrew Gale

Points out that the transformation of Russia into a modernindustrial democracy depends to a high degree on the capacity of Russianmanagers′ to absorb and implement Western…

Abstract

Points out that the transformation of Russia into a modern industrial democracy depends to a high degree on the capacity of Russian managers′ to absorb and implement Western management know‐how; this, in turn, depends on the success of trainers to communicate management know‐how into the Russian/post‐Soviet frame of reference. Focuses on Russian managers′ attitudes to a current training programme commissioned under the EC TACIS (Technical Assistance to the CIS) Programme. Twelve managers, all from the construction sector, were asked to state their expectations of the training programme in relation to their companies and themselves. Analysis of the responses suggested that Russian managers have a very limited self‐image as managers and that they see the West as a key source of solutions to Russia′s economic problems. But a striking implication to emerge was that the Russian managers were inclined to misconceive the applicability of Western management to Russian conditions. Concludes that trainers and policy makers may need to do more to make Russian managers aware of the value of Western management knowledge to Russian society.

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Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 14 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1989

Nigel J. Holden

In recent years there has been a tendency to attribute multilingualcapability to Japanese businessmen to account for their global businesssuccess. But those who subscribe…

Abstract

In recent years there has been a tendency to attribute multilingual capability to Japanese businessmen to account for their global business success. But those who subscribe to this point of view are inclined to ignore two influential factors: (a) the complexity of Japanese attitudes to dealing with foreigners and (b) the general Japanese lack of prowess at mastering foreign languages. A discussion of these factors sets the scene for presenting some findings of a survey about foreign language training and international development in a cross‐section of major Japanese companies. This survey concludes that UK and US firms, being so steadfastly monoglot in their international dealings, are inclined to underestimate Japanese determination to understand foreign markets through developing their capability in English and increasingly in other European languages.

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Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2013

Nigel Holden and Vlad Vaiman

The purpose of this paper is to supply insights into talent management (TM) in Russia in the light of Soviet experience and the contemporary officially sanctioned…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to supply insights into talent management (TM) in Russia in the light of Soviet experience and the contemporary officially sanctioned business‐antagonistic political culture.

Design/methodology/approach

A diachronic approach, whereby a key dictum of Karl Marx which underlays Soviet thinking and methods is contextualized and applied to post‐communist Russia, and TM practice in Russian firms and foreign firms in Russia is contrasted.

Findings

A key finding is that there is seemingly greater value placed on Russian employees' talents by foreign companies. Six influential factors are identified which give Russian‐style TM a dysfunctional character: Russia's default position (i.e. instinctive gravitation to authoritarian rule), mistrust of institutions, entrenched “bossdom”, persistence of “Soviet mental software”, negative selection, and limited tradition of empowerment.

Research limitations/implications

The paper highlights needs for: comparative empirical studies, contrasting Russian firms' and foreign firms' understanding and application of TM; investigation into the relationship of Russian‐style TM and career progression in Russian companies; and studies into contrasting ways of transferring TM concepts and practices by Western firms.

Practical implications

Foreign firms must be prepared to engage with Russia's prevailing officially sanctioned business‐antagonistic, occasionally xenophobic political culture.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates how engagement with contemporary Russia for management research purposes requires a deep appreciation of the Soviet period and the complexities of its legacy and judicious use of Russian‐language material adds credibility.

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Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 9 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1991

Nigel J. Holden

As the USSR undertakes the transition to a market economy, westernwords and concepts to describe business and management activity arebecoming increasingly used there. The…

Abstract

As the USSR undertakes the transition to a market economy, western words and concepts to describe business and management activity are becoming increasingly used there. The semantic discrepancies between the English word “businessman” and the Soviet word biznesmen are advanced as examples. But the main focus of attention is on the use and implications of the Russified forms of “manager” and “management”, which are becoming very fashionable in the USSR. A short historical review of these terms in the Soviet context is followed by a discussion of the impact of perestroika on the evolution of management as it becomes increasingly independent of Party and planners. Attention is paid to the distinction between industrial managers and entrepreneurs seeking to establish small businesses in the USSR. Use is made of Russian‐language sources.

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European Business Review, vol. 91 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1993

Nigel J. Holden

Describes the environment for management education in the formerUSSR, a topic hitherto receiving limited treatment in Western managementliterature. Having placed Soviet…

Abstract

Describes the environment for management education in the former USSR, a topic hitherto receiving limited treatment in Western management literature. Having placed Soviet management education in the general context of glasnost and perestroika, attention focuses on key developments since the creation of the USSR′s first business school in July 1988 to launch the re‐education of up to 14 million technocrats and officials. A short discussion of the curriculum and orientation of one Moscow‐based management centre follows. Highlights certain stumbling‐blocks in the further development of management education, which involves ever greater participation by Western partners: the problem of communicating management concepts into Russian/post‐Soviet terms of reference and Western management educators′ limited appreciation of the psychology of Russians.

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International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 25 October 2011

Nigel J. Holden

This paper seeks to provide an invited response to the Michailova/Jormanainen paper (CPoIB, Vol. 7 No. 3).

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to provide an invited response to the Michailova/Jormanainen paper (CPoIB, Vol. 7 No. 3).

Design/methodology/approach

The author adopts a subjective approach to respond to the Michailova/Jormanainen paper and challenge/develop further some of the authors' findings.

Findings

The author: suggests that a striking capacity for improvisation applied to virtually every human activity in the USSR; agrees with Michailova and Jormanainen that the Soviet Union's knowledge legacy is a far more important resource for Western firms than is usually appreciated, but believes it is very difficult for the latter to use this resource “in a more nuanced manner”; posits that Russia is learning a new language both literally and metaphorically; and concludes that Russians prefer asymmetrical relationships with the West.

Research limitations/implications

There is a need for more research into Soviet history and even earlier periods of Russian history to explain contemporary Russian management and the Russian style of interaction with foreign business partners.

Practical implications

Foreign firms dealing with Russia must learn to live with asymmetry in their relationships with Russian business partners; knowing sharing operates in a zone of severe terminological and attitudinal mismatches.

Originality/value

Historical approach; use of Russian language sources, including Tolstoy; first reference in English‐language management literature of Russia's first Handbook of Knowledge Management.

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1985

Nigel Holden

In October 1982 I was invited to teach Japanese to the managing director of a high‐tech company based in the North West of England. It meant in fact devising a specific…

Abstract

In October 1982 I was invited to teach Japanese to the managing director of a high‐tech company based in the North West of England. It meant in fact devising a specific 40‐hour course for him from scratch at the Manchester Business School. There were a number of reasons for this necessity. First, there was not (nor is there still) a satisfactory short introductory course on Japanese which caters for businessmen, secondly, Japanese was, in my opinion, not a language that readily lends itself to the so‐called direct method of tuition: hence I had to invent a way of teaching it so that the managing director — I will call him Ted — gained insights into the nature of Japanese as a decidedly non‐European human communication system|2|; further, I had to take account of Ted's own relationships with his agent and his customers in Japan. A final consideration was this: I could scarcely speak a word of Japanese myself!

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Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1998

Nigel Holden

Considers that mainly mono‐lingual marketing scholars in universities and business schools in the English‐speaking world may sometimes think that anything which is not…

Abstract

Considers that mainly mono‐lingual marketing scholars in universities and business schools in the English‐speaking world may sometimes think that anything which is not produced in English is unlikely to be of notable theoretical or practical significance. Asserts that this is cultural myopia and intellectual self‐deception. In particular, identifies a problem of translating marketing terminology in former Eastern Bloc countries and Japan. Gives examples of translated words which do not convey the correct meanings because certain terms and concepts have not been absorbed into the national language or have different associations. Poses two challenges: how are we to account for such culturally diverse attitudes to the formal delineation and description of marketing; what is the implication for this diversity for the future evolution of international marketing studies?

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2005

Gerhard Fink

Abstract

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Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 20 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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