Dinosaurs don?t want to die

Restructuring and Privatization of Big Enterprises in Hungary

?Dinosaurs were huge animals?, a chief executive explained me in the early 80s before our extensive knowledge of paleontology was developed from the books of our children. ?If a rat started to chew their tail it took several years for the information to reach the dinosaurs? brain. Our big enterprises are just like dinosaurs? - he stated with self irony. Have these primordial creatures died out of the Hungarian economy? The crucial question of our research was how the political and economic turnover affected the Hungarian large scale industry. How has the organizational and ownership structure of the socialist big enterprises changed? How have their production structures, patterns of behavior and orientations changed? What enterprise strategies have proven to be successful? What has the role of the government been like in connection with big firms? In order to answer these questions we used a combination of economic and sociological methods, based on case studies and the processing the balance sheet data of 49 enterprises, which were considered as privileged, strategic firms under Socialism. First we will outline the main characteristics of the big enterprise group concerned, than have a look at the method and degree of organizational and ownership changes. In the last section the basic lines of disintegration, the elements and the constraints of disintegration will be presented.

Published by Perfekt-Pénzügykutató Rt. 1997 (in Hungarian)

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