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Regular version of the site

Article

Beyond ribbon cutting: Lessons from Russian manufacturers on the nuances of opening ceremonies

Global Business and Organizational Excellence. 2018. Vol. 37. No. 5. P. 6-13.

Opening ceremonies for new manufacturing plants are commonplace and yet, they
are surprisingly under-documented. Although these ceremonies may, at first glance,
appear to simply serve as celebrations to mark the successful completion of an industrial
project, they are based on symbolic actions, and usually very well planned
and executed. Consequently, their underlying meaning is more complex. A study of
the opening ceremonies of 56 manufacturing facilities in Russia by foreign multinationals
shows that opening ceremonies also serve to demonstrate mutual acceptance
of the differing motives of both the foreign investors and the local authorities for
building the plant. The analysis points to recommendations regarding the timing and
design of the ceremonies, as well as participants’ behavior, that can ensure that such
events contribute to the attainment of organizational goals.