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Transforming former state-owned companies into market competitors in Poland:: The ABB experience


  • Obloj, Krzysztof
  • Thomas, Howard


Asea Brown Boveri is one of the largest, and probably the most experienced, investors in Poland. It has made several acquisitions in different, even if somewhat related industries. In the case of each acquisition ABB had to restructure the management and turn a former state-owned firm into a lean market competitor. While overall the process was very successful, ABB learned a few tough lessons about the implementation of Western-style management systems in one of the most successful of the newly democratized countries in Eastern Europe. The most important was that the hard (structure and procedures) and soft (human resource) aspects of the acquired firms should be developed and framed simultaneously. Otherwise the restructuring process could paradoxically reinforce some of the common and unacceptable features of the management of the former state-owned firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Obloj, Krzysztof & Thomas, Howard, 1998. "Transforming former state-owned companies into market competitors in Poland:: The ABB experience," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 390-399, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eurman:v:16:y:1998:i:4:p:390-399

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    Cited by:

    1. Meyer, Klaus E., 2002. "Management challenges in privatization acquisitions in transition economies," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 266-276, January.
    2. Romero-Martínez, Ana M. & Fernández-Rodríguez, Zulima & Vázquez-Inchausti, Elena, 2010. "Exploring corporate entrepreneurship in privatized firms," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 2-8, January.

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