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Russian Firms in Transition: Champions, Challengers, and Chaff


  • Susan J. Linz


This paper proposes a composite measure to evaluate a firm's survival potential. The composite measure is applied to 51 Russian firms located in Moscow, Volgograd, Rostov and Taganrog, utilizing data collected in 1995 from in-depth interviews with top-level managers of manufacturing, trade, and other organizations. Using a straight scale with equal weights for each element of the composite measure, the survey results suggest that more than three years after the initiation of the transition from plan to market in Russia, champions number fewer than one-in-fifty, challengers may account for less than 10%, and firms unlikely to survive the transition process, the chaff, represent 80-85%. Utilizing unequal weights, that is, weighting current profitability, export experience, foreign investment, .monopoly power, and future financial and production strategies twice as much as the other elements in the composite measure, generates the outcome where 5 firms meet the criteria for champion (10%), 18 firms are challengers (35%), and 28 are chaff (55%). These results are somewhat more optimistic than estimates reported at the beginning of the Russian transition process that only one-in-ten firms would avoid bankruptcy.

Suggested Citation

  • Susan J. Linz, 1996. "Russian Firms in Transition: Champions, Challengers, and Chaff," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 10, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:1996-10

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    Cited by:

    1. Wright, Mike & Filatotchev, Igor & Buck, Trevor & Bishop, Kate, 2002. "Foreign partners in the Former Soviet Union," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 165-179, October.
    2. Linz, Susan J., 2004. "Motivating Russian workers: analysis of age and gender differences," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 261-289, July.
    3. Susan Linz, 2000. "Restructuring with What Success? A Case Study of Russian Firms," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 324, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.

    More about this item


    transition; competetive position; success criteria;

    JEL classification:

    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • P42 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Productive Enterprises; Factor and Product Markets; Prices


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