Making Managers of Communist Bureaucrats

“TO REBUILD AND RUN the Hungarian business in which we are buying a 49% stake,” reports the CEO of a Western consumer-goods company, “we’ll need a dozen experienced Hungarian executives. We had over a hundred applicants, each appearing well qualified by job title and position. But only three or four turned out to have the experience and skills needed.”

Businesses in Central Europe seem to employ at least twice as many managers and professionals as do comparable businesses in the West. But there is an extreme scarcity of managerial skills and experience.

Many Central European managers have ...

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