Directors of the 1930th Heavy Industry Enterprises:
Dynamics in a Socio-Professional Group

Feldman M.A.

Dr. Sci. (Hist.), Prof. of the Ural Institute of Management – branch of Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Yekaterinburg, Russia

DOI: 10.31857/S013216250014475-5
ID of the Article:

For citation:

Feldman M.A. Directors of the 1930th Heavy Industry Enterprises: Dynamics in a Socio-Professional Group. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2021. No 7. P. 113-124


In the paper, based on the historical literature, statistical records on the industrial management personnel in 1929, 1934 and 1936, the All-Union meetings of executives in 1931–1936, an attempt is made to offer a social portrait of the professional group of directors of USSR major enterprises during the first five-year plans. Comparative statistical method allowed to compare social characteristics of the entire professional group of directors – and its core, “elite” of 28 directors of the largest heavy industry enterprises elected to the Council under the People’s Commissar of Heavy Industry. If the analysis of the different social characteristics of the entire professional group of directors and its core allowed to identify quantitative indicators contributing to the career success of these executives, analysis of the content of the speeches by managers at the All-Union meetings in 1931 and 1934, and at the Councils under the People’s Commissar of Heavy Industry in 1935 and 1936 allowed to identify specific features of those “production commanders” who achieved most significant successes. It is found that during the first five-year plans, the “social elevator” brought up directors mainly with professional training; experiencedin managing during the NEP years, linked to Bolshevik Party; able to launch any production “from the scratch”. The life of successful directors during the first five-year plans included ability to negotiate with the officials of the People’s Commissariats on the terms, volumes and quality parameters of the products to be manufactured; ability to use quasi-market relationships, primarily limited commodity-money relations.

directors; industrial enterprises; party; industrialization; five year plans; Soviet industries


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