The Hidden Enterprise Culture of Moscow: Entrepreneurship and Off-the-Books Working Practices

Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 445-62 (2008)

18 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2013

See all articles by Colin Williams

Colin Williams

University of Sheffield - School of Management

John Round

University of Birmingham

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

Even though entrepreneurs are commonly depicted as risk-takers, little evaluation has occurred of whether they weigh up the costs of being caught and the level of punishments, and engage in off-the-books working practices. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the degree to which entrepreneurs engage in such off-the-books work. Reporting a survey conducted in Moscow during late 2005 and early 2006 of 81 entrepreneurs (defined here as individuals starting-up an enterprise in the past three years), just 3.7 per cent are found to operate on a wholly legitimate basis. The remaining 96.3 per cent have not registered their business, have no license to trade and conduct all of their trade on an off-the books basis. The outcome is a call to move beyond the wholesome and virtuous ideal-type of legitimate super heroes that pervades textbook depictions of entrepreneurs and towards a fuller understanding of the lived realities of entrepreneurship.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, informal economy, informal entrepreneurship, Moscow, enterprise development, venture creation, Eastern Europe

JEL Classification: O17, H26, H31, K42, R20

Suggested Citation

Williams, Colin and Round, John, The Hidden Enterprise Culture of Moscow: Entrepreneurship and Off-the-Books Working Practices (2008). Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 445-62 (2008), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2290531

Colin Williams (Contact Author)

University of Sheffield - School of Management ( email )

15 Conduit Road
Sheffield, S10 1FL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/management/staff/williams/index

John Round

University of Birmingham ( email )

Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT
United Kingdom

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