Historical Social Research

30.2 - Entrepreneurs and Managers

Special Issue
HSR Vol. 30 (2005) No. 2: Special Issue: Entrepreneurs and Managers in Socialism

Heinrich Best & Michael Hofmann (Eds.): Entrepreneurs and Managers in Socialism

Managers in socialism embody an ambivalent social role. On the one hand, business “cadres” were said to be pioneers of the centrally planned economy and protagonists of an economy which should prove the socialism’s superiority. On the other hand, they were well-educated economic experts with practical experience. Their expertise often conflicted with ideological premises of the socialist economy. The trouble with the gap between intention and reality could not be prevented even by the best cadre selection. These contradictions form certain orientation points and careers are to be analysed in this HSR Special Issue; the contributions develop explanations as to why operations managers after 89/90 established themselves in such a successful way. They also analyse the specific cultural background of the todays “management culture” in East Germany. The HSR Special Issue includes articles on the following topics: “Cadre characteristics and career paths,” “experiences and orientations for action,” and “management culture of East Germany.” The Special Issue is complemented by a Focus recalculating National Accounts of GDR / East Germany, 1970-2000.

Gerhard Heske: Die gesamtwirtschaftliche Entwicklung in Ostdeutschland 1970 bis 2000: neue Ergebnisse einer volkswirtschaftlichen Gesamtrechnung.

This HSR Focus presents, for the first time, comparative data of the national economic development for East Germany over the period from 1970 to 2000. The domestic production, the creation of value of the economic sectors, the gainful employment, and the overall expenditure serve as indicators. This contribution is part of a greater project which contains extensive tables, the methodical apparatus, the data, and an interpretation of the results of the new calculations. This contribution has an introductory character, and covers the following: starting with an assessment of the general state of the assurance and backward projection from statistical data of the former GDR, the article proceeds with presenting the most essential components of national accounting in the GDR up to 1989 and in the New Laender from 1990 on, followed by a survey of backward projection for the GDR carried out in the past. Tasks and requirements to the comparable representation of the national economic development in East Germany are derived from the system change of the VGR (national accounting). On this basis several results of the backward projection for the GDR and the New Laender are dealt with for the periods from 1970 to 1989, and respectively 1989 to 2000. To conclude, results calculated for the first time for the area of what is now the Federal Republic of Germany in a comparable period from 1970 to 2000 are presented. Short methodical explanations shall help to improve the appreciation of the necessary work steps at the backward projection.