Book Review: Technology and Environment in State-Socialist Hungary: An Economic History by Viktor Pál
Review of book on envrionment in socialism
This book considers several aspects of the transformation of the former state socialist countries: social and economic outcomes; forces in the transformation process; problems of consolidation of the new regimes; and alternative scenarios. The book evaluates the course of transformation of state socialist societies. It focuses on economic change and its impact on inequality and health. Comparisons are made between the successful central European countries now members of the European Union with those of the former Soviet Union. There are detailed studies of the transformation of the (former) German Democratic Republic, Czech Republic, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, as well as the impact on Poland. A feature of the book is the impact of the collapse of state socialism on countries of Asia and the Third World. Alternative scenarios are considered, with specific chapters on China, Cuba, and North Korea. The book contemplates the alternative types of society that might replace state socialism, particularly state capitalism and market socialism.
The article provides a comparative analysis of models of electricity industry functioning in Russia and in the world by the example of Great Britain, the USA and Scandinavian countries. The author emphasizes basic models and analyzes advantages and disadvantages in the context of the reform processes taking place in the electricity industry. He gives a classification of the industry functioning models.
For the last 5 years the market of intellectual capital has dramatically decreased, the graduating students’ knowledge quality steadily decreases and the ambitions for the fee increase. This article describes the application of currently most promising methods of (1) network (graph) theory, (2) data mining and (3) subject-oriented approach to business process modelling for creating and automation of innovative process and therefore for maximization of ROI (return on investments) in universities intellectual and social capital. Descried approach represents the High School activity as the knowledge-made process, reveals students, capable of innovation activity for their further deep study of innovation practice, transfers the moment of novation forming with further discussion the possibility of novation realization as an innovation into the educational process, develops maximum person-independent procedures of innovation work groups forming and expert communities for evaluation of both novations and innovation budgets. The given research was held in a frame of the contract № 13.G25.31.0096 with the Ministry for Education and Science of Russian Federation «Creation of hi-tech manufacture of unstructured information processing in cross-platform system on the open-source software basis in order to increase management efficiency of innovative activity of enterprises in modern Russia».
In many organizations implementation of innovation is initiated by the management with application of so-cold “top-down” approach: strategic targets and key success factors with the initiatives of its achieving are formed and consolidated in different regulations, procedures, rules and instructions, which are brought to concrete employees later. The feedback from employees is occurred on the fact of initiative execution in form of corrective procedures locally, but the forming of innovation is still the top-management prerogative.
Such centric approach is mostly demotivating approach for initiative employees, who generate, implement and use innovation ideas. For this problem correction hybrid methods are used. The creation of special department inside the company is supposed to be done. It bears duties of innovation catalyst (usually R&D and HR departments have this role). Among other things this department is responsible for inspiration of average executive on development of innovation, determination and consolidation of corporate values and standards of behavior. In the end, the employees orientation on single corporate targets, the increase of corporate spirit would again “top-down” imposed and the department is just the retransmitter of values that are determined by the management.
How should the politics of relations between colleagues, clients and partners be naturally created and how to establish the awareness by the company employees of their personal responsibility and their personal role in corporate values realization, creation of innovation atmosphere inside the organization that does not resist the innovation? The approach, which is described in this article, supposes the forming of distributed network inside the organization with the transfer to it the general effort in the sphere of creating innovations and implementing the corporate ethics principals.
The article is based on the introductory part of the collection on “Material Culture and Technology in Everyday Life: Ethnographic Approaches” (2009). The author presents a brief review of concepts that have been lately employed in research on material or technological culture. He attempts to show that different disciplines do in fact use adjacent notions and concepts in thinking about materiality, and tries to delineate ways of bringing the different research traditions to a unified platform that could serve as a theoretical foundation for the complex materialistic study of technological culture.