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Writing new scripts: redefining managerial agency in Cuba


  • Cunha, Miguel Pina e
  • Cunha, Rita Campus e


Transitional societies are faced with particularly challenging and pressing problems. These usually involve the passage from a centralised, socialist-based society, to a decentralised, market-based economy. This paper addresses a somewhat different case: that of Cuba. According to the official discourse, the island is not in a state of transition. On the contrary, it is assumed that the conquests of the revolution are there to stay. Nonetheless, significant changes are taking place. The market logic is being adopted in a growing number of cases, ranging from empresas mixtas to the weak signals of entrepreneurial activity. Drawing on a series of eight focus groups with a total of 106 Cuban executives and management scholars, this paper addresses the uniqueness of the Cuban case on the basis of the theory of structuration. The paper reports how the need to keep the faith is being added with the adoption of Western management practices, and how the interplay between planned and emergent change is sculpting transition through the redefinition of managerial scripts.

Suggested Citation

  • Cunha, Miguel Pina e & Cunha, Rita Campus e, 2002. "Writing new scripts: redefining managerial agency in Cuba," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp408, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
  • Handle: RePEc:unl:unlfep:wp408

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Steven White, 2001. "Transition Trajectories for Market Structure and Firm Strategy in China," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(1), pages 103-124, January.
    2. Zhu, Ying & Warner, Malcolm, 2000. "An emerging model of employment relations in China: a divergent path from the Japanese?," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 345-361, June.
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