Changing patterns of employment in post-socialist organizations in central and Eastern Europe: management action in a transitional context

Anna Soulsby, Ed Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article develops an alternative theoretical framework to the dominant ‘top-down’ macroeconomic and institutional views that have been so influential in studies of the post-socialist economic transition. The authors argue that in order to understand economic outcomes more fully, researchers need to adopt a theoretical approach that combines the sociological reasoning of the institutionalist view with micro-processual arguments that theorize employment and unemployment as outcomes of everyday social construction. Inverting the normal economic approach of starting from macro-economic trends and inferring the motives and practices of local socio-economic actors, the authors, therefore, seek to develop a ‘ground-up’ mode of explanation of unemployment dynamics that commences from the examination of the real decision-making practices and processes of socially embedded enterprise managers. Drawing on evidence from longitudinal case study research, the authors demonstrate that enterprise structuring has not been a uniform or monocausal process and highlight the angers of over-generalization from aggregated data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1396-1410
Number of pages15
JournalThe International Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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