tchalakov, ivan


Innovation and Entrepreneurship in (Post) Socialist Bulgaria:  Between Capitalist Path-Dependencies and Newly Emerging Patterns of Industrial Development

The paper outlines the patterns of innovation and entrepreneurship in socialist Bulgaria as representative for the less developed socialist countries in Eastern Europe to explain both de-industrialization process and the slow, but steady growth of post-socialist entrepreneurship in the region during the last two decades. Based on in-depth interviews of the author with both socialist and post socialist entrepreneurs, the paper reveals the existence of surprising channels of transfer of patterns of innovation and entrepreneurship from pre-socialist capitalistic period. These patterns – especially those related with corporate innovation and entrepreneurship in the framework of large industrial organisations - became integral part in emerging new political and economic environment of socialism, which in turns influenced and modified them up to the suppression of some of them. The conducing part of the paper explores how the process of de-industrialisation and dismantling of the large socialist industrial organisations (economic combines) revived a more traditional type of entrepreneurship, based on individual/family type of business and related interruption (and even lost) of the corporate patterns of entrepreneurship.

Key words: socialist entrepreneurship, corporate innovation & institutional entrepreneurship, Eastern Europe.

Friday 26 October 14.30-16:30 Panels IX, Panel 24 Ceres-panel 2: Post-Socialist Entrepreneurs as New Economic Actors (Hall 8)