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East German economic elites and their companies two decades after the transformation ('Wende'): Still following the patterns of the 1990s


  • Bernd Martens


Surveys among entrepreneurs and managing directors of companies with 50 to 1,000 employees are used to describe features of managerial elites in East Germany. The paper looks at four dimensions: (1) the reproduction of economic elites during the transformation period and its current consequences; (2) the development of “family capitalism” and processes of social closure; (3) qualification patterns of management; and (4) different attitudes of East and West German elites. Managers who were socialised in state socialist combines are still a large proportion of East German economic elites. Owing to their age distribution, changes in top management will be probable, and their effects on enterprises and social relations are discussed in the paper.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernd Martens, 2008. "East German economic elites and their companies two decades after the transformation ('Wende'): Still following the patterns of the 1990s," Journal of East European Management Studies, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 13(4), pages 305-326.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:joeems:doi_10.1688/1862-0019_jeems_2008_04_martens

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    survey; managerial elites; East Germany; different attitudes; Managers; distribution; changes;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • M20 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - General
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • P20 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - General
    • P31 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Socialist Enterprises and Their Transitions


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