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Article

Innovative Actions and Innovation (In)capabilities of Russian Industrial Companies — An Extension of a Quasi-longitudinal Study

Post-Communist Economies. 2006. Vol. 18. No. 3. P. 297-313.
This article reports the results of an extension of a quasi-longitudinal survey among top corporate executives in Russian industry, presenting a snapshot of current innovation actions and innovation capabilities of Russian enterprises. Through comparison between the situations in 2002 and 2004, changes in the business and management of Russian companies in recent years are examined. The intensity of innovation significantly increased in 2003–04, but the resources for innovation at Russian CEOs’ disposal became even more limited than before as the traditional lack of finance coincided with a growing shortage of qualified labour. Moreover, the intensity of past innovations has little impact on further successes as there is minimal accumulation of routines of innovative action within companies. Further accumulation of innovative capabilities by Russian industrial enterprises will be a rather slow and painful process. The successes in innovative development of some export-oriented ‘national champions’ will be limited by the inability of their local partners to adapt to new requirements. Locally-oriented companies with sufficient financing will be inclined towards adoption of the existing technological solutions implemented by turn-key operators. In both cases breakthrough innovations in production and management technologies will be rare and will not determine the overall picture. In this respect, the sus