Abstract

The specificity of modern Russian labour and management culture can be regarded as one of the factors that constrain creativity and as a consequence innovativeness of Russian economy. At the same time native managers show conservatism and avoid application of western management practices as irrelevant for Russian conditions. In that case it might be supposed that progressive transformation of labour and management culture is taking place in multinational teams. This article aims at investigating the influence of labour culture on creativity in international workgroups in Russia. It is an attempt to reveal specific features of Russian labour culture which may encourage or restrain creativity. Furthermore it explores possible positive changes of native labour culture influenced by foreign practices that stimulate creativity. The author shows that Russian professionals are often disengaged from the working process. It means that they are not interested in the meaning and results of their work. Their way of working doesn’t imply the reflection about alternative means of goal achievement. Accordingly Russian professionals demonstrate lack of initiative and they have to be tightly controlled by a supervisor. An employee feels responsibility for the formal adherence to instructions and not for the result. Russians don’t try to change or cancel decisions of the supervisor, even if these decisions are absurd or useless. Metaphorically, the Russian style of working may be called “service” and is different from the Western style: western style emphasizes Result, Russian style accentuates Process. These characteristics of Russian professionals are a serious problem for foreign managers trying to control them. Several respondents show some techniques that may help to stimulate Russians to work creatively. However, nobody of them has achieved a stable successful result.

Keywords: creativity, Russian labour culture, Russian management culture, professionals, expats