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The Socialist entrepreneurs: the case of development of Bulgarian electronic industry

[journal article]

Tchalakov, Ivan

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Abstract The paper presents the results of the author's research on the innovations in Bulgarian socialist economy between 1950 and 1986. The first three parts argue about the problem traditional historiography encounters when studying innovations under the socialist non-market economy because of the inherently theoretical load of the very concept of innovation. They apply Joseph Schumpeter approach to the innovation in non-market economy, developed further by Peter Murrell (Murrell 1990), and critically adapted by the author in the light of the achievements of French sociology of innovation (techno-economic networks approach of Michel Callon) and theory of 'second networks' of socialism, developed by Czech sociologist Ivo Mozni and Bulgarian sociologists A. Boundjulov, A.Raichev and D.Deyanov. The second part of the paper discusses the empirically observed patterns of innovation under the socialist economy and analyses the activities of one key figure of Bulgarian industrial development in the second half of XXth century – Prof. Ivan Popov (Chairman of the State Committee of Science and Technical Progress, Minister of Electronic Industry, Minister of Machine-Building Industry and member of Bulgarian Communist Party Politburo, founder of Bulgarian Scientific and Technical Intelligence Service). The analysis, which is based predominantly on oral interviews, memories, and archival sources, outlines a distinct type of 'socialist entrepreneur' defined by the specific resources he has mobilized to introduces the corresponding innovations, some in the scale of entire industrial branches. This provides a ground for further comparisons with other possible types of 'socialist entrepreneurship', so that we could be able to better understanding of the peculiarities of the socialist economic environment, including the 'deficit' of entrepreneurial motivation and the necessity of its 'import' from abroad (capitalist countries). The paper also enlightens some of the specific barriers to the introduction of original innovations under the socialism.
Keywords Bulgaria; socialist economy; innovation; industry; development; economic policy; executive
Classification Sociology of Economics; Political Economy
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
Page/Pages 31 p.
Journal Research in Social Change (2010)
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
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