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Democracy without empowerment: the grand vision and demise of Yugoslav self‐management

Democracy without empowerment: the grand vision and demise of Yugoslav self‐management Under Josip Tito's leadership, Yugoslavia broke away from Stalinistic central planning in 1948 and developed an economy-wide system of worker self-management. Its ideological focus was on leadership development and continuous learning among all employees, replacing owners and state bureaucracy with empowered workers at the helm of Yugoslav firms. Over time, the world's largest experiment in empowerment went awry, however. A state-supported neo-Taylorism with a "thinking tank" and a separate "working tank," evolved which represented little real empowerment. By the 1980s, self-management had become an impotent bureaucratic formality behind a democratic facade. The dynamics within the rise and fall of Yugoslav self-management provide lessons for understanding and managing empowerment efforts today. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Management Decision Emerald Publishing

Democracy without empowerment: the grand vision and demise of Yugoslav self‐management

Management Decision , Volume 40 (8): 10 – Oct 1, 2002

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 MCB UP Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0025-1747
DOI
10.1108/00251740210437752
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Under Josip Tito's leadership, Yugoslavia broke away from Stalinistic central planning in 1948 and developed an economy-wide system of worker self-management. Its ideological focus was on leadership development and continuous learning among all employees, replacing owners and state bureaucracy with empowered workers at the helm of Yugoslav firms. Over time, the world's largest experiment in empowerment went awry, however. A state-supported neo-Taylorism with a "thinking tank" and a separate "working tank," evolved which represented little real empowerment. By the 1980s, self-management had become an impotent bureaucratic formality behind a democratic facade. The dynamics within the rise and fall of Yugoslav self-management provide lessons for understanding and managing empowerment efforts today.

Journal

Management DecisionEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 1, 2002

Keywords: Teams; Autonomy; Yugoslavia; Eastern Europe; Workplace learning

References