This happened during a bilateral business meeting between businessmen from Russia and Tunisia. The discussion of the issues on the agenda took its course, apparently, in a rather tense mode. In the process of work, one of the representatives of the Russian delegation asked the head of the group for a lighter, to which he replied to him in a sharp and even rude manner, saying “You know that I do not smoke and do not molest me now with such questions, etc.”, in short, as we usually do, publicly “put in place”. Suddenly, all tunisians, as one, silently stood up and left the room. To the perplexed questions of Russians – “What’s the matter? What happened?” – answered the translator – our compatriot, who lived in Tunisia for several years. He said that the Russian delegation demonstrated a lack of “team spirit” and Tunisians do not consider it possible to continue business negotiations with the group, within which there is no unity between its members. (Based on the materials of the author’s television program by Y. Menshova “To be continued …”. Channel NTV). Let’s ask ourselves what in this situation played the role of a regulator of the behavior of representatives of the Tunisian delegation and was not such in relation to the Russians? Obviously, such a regulator was the mechanism of the culture of thinking, which manifested itself in the context of business negotiations in the form of economic culture. So what is economic culture? Consider this phenomenon in the context of sociological analysis.
Proceeding from the classical understanding of culture as a two-pronged process of preservation and reproduction of cultural values and using the methodological developments of T. I. Zaslavskaya and
R. V. Ryvkina, G. N. Sokolova defines economic culture “as a way (structure of social mechanisms) of interaction of economic consciousness (as a reflection of economic relations and knowledge of the functioning and development of economic laws) and economic thinking (as a reflection of inclusion in economic activity), regulating the participation of individuals and social groups in economic activity and the degree of their self-realization in certain types of economic behavior. This means the formation by past economic experience of a certain state of economic consciousness (and economic thinking as a form of its manifestation) of society, the social layer, the social group, embodying this state in a certain economic activity (economic behavior)” (Sokolova G.N., 1995). The more perfect the way of this interaction, the more effective the economic activity; the more rational the economic behavior, the higher the level of economic culture.
The passive, undeveloped economic consciousness of our society, which has not felt the need to change for decades, has led to contradictory, emotional economic thinking that combines external adherence to the policy of economic reforms with established social stereotypes. For this reason, economic activity is more emotional than rational in nature and is often carried out in a state of psychological stress. Such economic thinking, with in turn, it is not able to significantly enrich economic consciousness with socio-economic practice. The inflexible way of interaction between economic consciousness and economic thinking, burdened by rigid social stereotypes, practiced in the Soviet economy, does not yet give rise to special illusions about the high level of economic culture. The regulatory impact of such an imperfect way of interconnection and mutual penetration of economic consciousness and economic thinking into each other on economic behavior, economic activity as a whole is small and weakly determines the variability and flexibility of this behavior.
Let us describe the main features of economic culture as a mechanism that ultimately regulates economic behavior.
First, economic culture includes only those values, needs, preferences that arise from the needs of the economy and have a significant (positive or negative) impact on it. These are, among other things, those social norms that, having emerged in the social sphere, acquire their specific sound in the economic sphere of society. For example, the universal principle of social equality has been embodied in the economic sphere in the equalizing principle of wages. These are also those social ones. norms that arise from the internal needs of the economy. Thus, the economics of extensive development, focused mainly on quantitative methods for assessing the efficiency of production, considers it natural to plan from what has been achieved, “a plan at any cost”, “not a single laggard nearby”, “deduction”, “equalization”, etc.
Secondly, the peculiarity of economic culture is determined by those channels through which it regulates the interconnection (interaction) of economic consciousness and economic thinking. This refers to the flexibility and plasticity of social stereotypes, a minimum of templates that complicate the relationship between economic consciousness and economic thinking, make it conservative, etc. The richer and more active the economic consciousness, the more rational and heuristic, the more variable and creative the economic consciousness. thinking, the freer and more professional economic behavior.
Thirdly, the peculiarity of economic culture is seen in the fact that, as a regulator of the connection between economic consciousness and economic thinking, it is much more focused than any other on managing the economic behavior of people. Regulatory values and norms of economic culture have an organizational orientation and activate the masses for certain actions, i.e. activate their economic behavior. Thus, all serious turns in politics were accompanied by putting forward appropriate slogans of an economic nature. The slogan as a moment of culture, aimed at developing socio-economic stereotypes in people, the more strongly it motivates people to solve the tasks put forward, the more contradictory and emotional their economic thinking, formed on faith in symbols. These were the slogans “To learn communism (at the beginning of the revolution); ” Learn to trade” (during the NEP period); “Technology in the period of reconstruction decides everything” (at the stage of industrialization); To work in a new way, you need to start thinking in a new way (in the years of perestroika); “Privatization” (in the transition period). Thus, we can say that economic culture is focused on the management of economic behavior to the extent that the past experience of economic development has formed the economic consciousness and economic way of thinking of the individual, group, society.
Considering economic culture as a way of interrelationship between economic consciousness and economic thinking presupposes judgments about the regulatory possibilities inherent in this method. We are talking about the possibilities of regulating the relationship in order to make it the most flexible and sensitive, both in terms of determining positive economic thinking and in terms of saturating economic consciousness with the real content of practice. These processes of direct and feedback between the phenomena under consideration largely depend on the completeness of the functions of economic culture.
First of all, economic culture, like culture as a whole, plays the role of the social memory of society, but not of the entire social memory, but only of that segment of it that is associated with the history of the development of economic relations, i.e. we can talk about the translational function of culture. This is the transfer from the past to the present and from the present to the future of socio-economic values, norms, rules, patterns of behavior. Norms and values, norms and values are transmitted from the past to the present. Norms and values, constituting the content of economic consciousness and economic thinking as a form of its manifestation, as well as economic behavior as a result of their interaction. Economic culture selects (rejects, preserves, accumulates) those values and norms that are necessary for the development of flexible economic behavior of the subjects of economic development, i.e. we can talk about the selection function of culture. However, ideological attitudes can, at certain stages of the development of society, modify and even suspend this natural process by introducing ideological frameworks and norms. We can also talk about the innovative function of economic culture, which is manifested in the renewal of socio-economic values and norms by developing new ones within the culture itself, or borrowing from other cultures. The completeness and quality of performance of these functions determine the regulatory possibilities of economic culture.
In a managed economy, the innovative function of culture (specifically the introduction of an innovation) can be countered by an administrative restriction. The fight against such a restriction can be protracted and exhausting for innovators and, in the end, depends on a strong-willed decision. And it is quite another matter if the source of conservatism goes into the tradition of economic behavior. In this case, a concrete and one-time solution is not enough. rapid shifts are unlikely. The evolutionary development of both general and economic culture is required.
At the same time, underestimating traditional actions can also be very costly. For example, the failures in the work of social mechanisms that occurred in the autumn of 1998 in the Russian Federation (the government crisis) immediately led to a serious destabilization of the economic sphere of society. The fragile market economy of Russia was not yet able to sufficiently self-regulate the processes taking place in it. At the same time, the traditional (administrative) actions of the government on a number of objective and subjective reasons were either no longer applicable, or they did not give the desired effect. As a result, the crisis of federal power led to a crisis in the consumer and financial markets of the country.
So, the balance — adherence to socio-economic norms and awareness of the need for economic innovation — depending on how economic consciousness and economic thinking interact, can shift in one direction or another. If commitment prevails, it threatens to stagnate socio-economic thought and, accordingly, in economic activity. It can be expressed in the idealization of the past, its opposition to the present. But at the same time, the stability of the system is an important factor in weeding out non-viable innovations, testing them for prospects. Therefore, it would be wrong to create a cult of novelty, as well as to underestimate the positive value of the already existing, recognized.
The dominance of controlled processes in the domestic economy (to the detriment of natural-historical ones) has created and is creating a unique situation when innovation is often introduced only by an administrative decision without taking into account both socio-cultural and socio-economic factors. This gives rise to purely specific features of the implementation of the innovation function in the domestic economy. First of all, it depends on the level of economic thinking of representatives of power structures. managers of the economy, and from local subjects of government, who are often carriers of conservative stereotypes. As a result, the methods of “piecewise introduction” are becoming widespread, when only one of its elements is accepted under the guise of mastering an innovation; “eternal experiment”, when economic innovations are preliminarily tested at individual facilities and this is the end of the matter; “reportable implementation”, when there is a fundamental discrepancy between the nominal development and the actual use of the innovation; “parallel implementation”, when innovation coexists with the old.
So, what are the reasons for the shift in the balance – adherence to the old or awareness of the need for innovation – towards commitment? First, it is the dominance of administrative and command methods of managing the economy. Secondly, it is an ineffective way of interconnecting inert economic consciousness and contradictory, emotional economic thinking, which does not have a regulatory impact on the motivation of achievements in which risk and unforeseen difficulties are seen. Thirdly, rooted in the economic mentality of social stereotypes that do not meet the needs of the emerging economy (“The initiative is punishable”, “The bosses are more visible”, etc.).
It can be concluded that the degree of innovativeness of the domestic economic culture is quite low. This low innovativeness has two forms of manifestation: institutional and personal. The first, institutional form is manifested in the monopoly of departments on the achievements of science and technology, the weak orientation of economic organizations (production, supply, trade, etc.) to the introduction of advanced methods of work, to the assimilation of progressive world experience, the corresponding retraining Staff. The second, personal form finds its expression on the scale of innovative behavior (as an economic component) of economic entities, the development of their attitudes to the development and implementation of innovations. In this case, the low innovativeness of the economy reflects the underdevelopment of values that regulate transformative activities in the economic sphere – the value of creativity, success, risk, non-trivial achievements. Incentives capable of nourishing such values have been weakened (if not absent). The bulk of managerial and engineering and technical workers were not focused on the introduction of technological, and even more so socio-economic innovations.
It can be concluded that the administrative management of the economy (with the deformed action of the basic socio-economic laws, in particular, the law of competition), the unformed undeveloped economic consciousness as the ability to use laws for the purposes of social development, the inconsistency and emotionality of economic thinking subordinated to the practice of total management – all this made it difficult to fully implement the basic functions of economic culture . translational (where dependence on ideology and politics, declarativeness, directiveness is developed), selection (where cultural monotony prevails), innovative (which is practically nullified). The resolution of the identified contradictions largely depends on how fully the mechanism of the functioning of economic culture will be used.
Thus, economic culture is a social mechanism, the characteristic features of which are the globality of manifestation and functional universality. The scope of this mechanism extends from the system of norms, rules and patterns of behavior of an individual economic entity (at the micro level) to the sphere of interaction of collective and even mass subjects (socio-professional groups, strata, classes, societies) in the process of social production (on the macro-level). At the micro level, the social mechanism of economic culture, using its “instrumental equipment” in the form of translational, selection and innovative functions, is designed to provide the subject with the optimal development of tactics for individual economic development based on the prevailing conditions of the objective macroenvironment. With this interpretation, an individual economic entity acts as a specific carrier of economic culture. At the level of social production, the super-task of the social mechanism of economic culture is the regulation of social processes in accordance with social needs – the acceleration of some, the containment or overcoming of others. The specific content of the integral function of economic culture at the macro level is to ensure the optimal use by society of limited resources in the name of its survival and development.
At the level of social production, the social mechanism of economic culture is manifested in the activity of economic entities and acts through this activity. The more the norms, rules and patterns of behavior transmitted by economic culture correspond to the expectations of economic entities and their worldview, the more fully the translational function is realized. In overcoming the discrepancy (or incomplete coincidence) of the content of economic culture, the macro level with the interests the source of development of the breeding function is laid. If, in the process of “feedback”, the subject transmits the developed norms and rules of economic behavior and those, being perceived by other subjects, enrich the content of economic culture, then we can talk about the implementation of an innovative function. The degree of realization of each of the functions depends on a number of characteristics (the level of development of the general culture, the specifics of social stereotypes, socio-psychological characteristics, national-territorial affiliation, etc.) of economic entities, whose activity is a source of development and, at the same time, the result of the development of the social mechanism of economic culture functioning at the level of social production.
To analyze the mechanisms of interaction between economic consciousness and economic thinking through the use of the phenomenon of economic culture, we will use the methodology of the system approach, which allows, firstly, to reveal the diversity of connections and relations of a complex object of cognition, and, secondly, to present them in the form of a single theoretical model. A systematic approach to the study of economic culture allows us to achieve an increase in scientific knowledge about the laws of functioning and development. of the phenomenon under study.
Diagram of the model shown in Fig. 12.1. allows not only to fix the presence of different types of relations in the object, but also to present this diversity in an operational form, i.e. to depict various connections as logically homogeneous, which allows their direct comparison and comparison. Based on the foregoing, we will interpret the graphic vision of the analyzed process with the help of a scheme that clearly reflects the specifics of the relationship between economic consciousness and economic thinking, and show the role of economic culture as a way of their connection with the regulation of economic behavior.
Economic consciousness, the first block of this scheme, contains information about the scientific basis for the operation of objective socio-economic laws, as well as about the history of the development of economic relations. Figuratively speaking, economic consciousness is a solid information bank, the quality of information of which, in approximating to the ideal, creates the basis for decision-making of the strategic plan. The main criteria that determine economic consciousness are scientificity and reflection in it. modern realities , allow us to conditionally designate him as a “strategist” of the analyzed system.
Economic thinking (the second block of the scheme) is, figuratively speaking, that individual subject-information pool in which the economic entity “floats” every day, trying not to go down” and, if possible, “swim” to the goal, i.e. to solve its own, in this case economic, problems. The main criteria that determine economic thinking are rationality, the ability to adapt to the existing “rules of the game”, the ability to calculate costs and benefits as the basis of the optimal selection , allow you to conditionally designate it as a “tactic” of the analyzed system.
The selected blocks operate with languages of different levels of complexity due to different deep essence. If the strategy is the art of conducting large operations, determines the main way to achieve the goal, then tactics are methods and means, forms and methods of achieving the goal, used in a particular situation and collectively ensuring strategic success.
To transform strategic decisions on the part of economic consciousness into the tactics of economic thinking, a new block is introduced into the scheme – economic culture, which contains mechanisms that allow it to perform translational, selection and innovative functions and acts as a “transformer” in the analyzed system. This block is both a “translator” of information from the language of strategy to the language of tactics of operational decisions, and an analyzer of the quality of translation, determined by the degree of performance of translational, selection and innovation functions.
Verification of the formed strategy of economic development occurs in the direct economic activity of the subject. Embodying in practice certain options for economic behavior within the framework of the developed type, the subject of economic relations inevitably falls into one of two possible situations: either he achieves the goal or does not achieve it. In the event that the subject does not achieve the goal, its analysis takes place in the “analyzer” block. This block, on the one hand, it plays the role of a “controller”, permanently determining the compliance of the subject’s energy costs with the significance of the achieved goal, on the other hand, “monitors” that the already worked out options for economic behavior within their set in the block of economic thinking “do not stagnate” and do not work “idle” in already tested economic situations. If, as a result of the analysis, it turns out that the goal is not significant enough for the subject, then he may refuse further activity altogether.
If the goal is achieved, then the block of economic thinking receives an impulse with a positive semantic load of communication, which confirms the legal capacity of the tested variant of behavior. When the subject fails to solve the problem, and the goal after its analysis remains significant, the block of economic thinking tries to use another variant of economic behavior within the framework of the strategy specified by the block of economic consciousness. The “détente” of a set of options for economic behavior will occur until the problem is solved, or until the moment when, as a result of a re-analysis at the next round of economic activity, the goal is determined by the “analyzer” as insignificant. Such a reassessment may occur due to the fact that the subject decides that the end does not justify the means, time or energy spent, and refuses further activity.
Note that the various variants of economic behavior within the framework of the formed type are quite flexible and diverse. The boundaries between them are transparent enough to allow the process of diffusion from one variant to another. How is the subject of economic activity able to sort through all these options? If this task was solved by a computer, then it would consistently and scrupulously go through all the options from the first to the last, until I found a capable one. As for a person, he often simply does not need to “lose” all available options. It is enough to check the nodal elements of a set of variants, and if they do not work, then derivatives from them will not work because of their essential identity.
Trying to achieve success in economic activity, the subject of economic relations implements in practice various variants of economic behavior within the framework of the development strategy set by the economic consciousness. In the process of work, a situation may arise when the stock of alternatives embedded in the set of options has dried up, thereby exhausting the content of a certain type of economic behavior. After analysis, the goal continues to be significant or even vital for the subject. Thus, thus, the system enters a state of crisis.
If the stock of alternatives embedded in the set of options for economic behavior has dried up, thereby exhausting a certain type of economic behavior, and the goal continues to be significant, or even vital, for the subject, then from that moment the “strategist” and the “transformer” are included in the active work. From the block of economic thinking to the block of economic consciousness there is an impulse in the form of a request. The interaction of these blocks is carried out through the “transformer”, which translates the impulse request from the language of economic thinking to the language of economic consciousness. At the same time, excessive emotional load and insignificant information are removed. This is possible when the “transformer” is able to ensure the implementation of such transformations. To do this, it is necessary that economic culture includes current values, norms, rules and patterns of behavior, as well as flexible and variable social stereotypes that orient it to further development and enrichment of the content.
The block of economic consciousness, in response to the request, sends information to the block of economic thinking about a new type of economic behavior. This information, passing through the block of economic culture, is translated into the language of economic thinking and transformed into the tactics of economic development, containing a new set of options for economic behavior. The final adaptation of new tactics and its use in practical activities is carried out by the block of economic thinking, since the perceived set of options for economic behavior is not yet fully ready for direct use and needs to be adjusted and finally correlated with a specific economic situation (otherwise, a set of options for economic behavior would occupy the entire volume of the block of economic thinking). Thus, the system, using internal capabilities, stabilizes its state.
Based on the foregoing, it is clear how significant an impact the “transformer” (and if we distract from the scheme – economic culture) has on the regulation of the economic behavior of the subject. Moreover, in the context of our analysis, we can talk about a two-way influence. Indeed, on the one hand, it is passing through the “transformer” that the type of economic behavior is translated into an adapted (the most adapted to the existing state of affairs) set of behavior options within this type, and on the other hand, even the very choice of the type of economic behavior is subject to direct control by the “transformer”.
Thus, it is clear how great the role of this bloc is and how important its functional load is, which, by the way, is also dualistic. After all, on the one hand, economic culture acts as a way of connecting economic consciousness and economic thinking, which, as it may seem, indicates its subordination to elements of a higher order; on the other hand, economic culture acts as an autonomous subsystem that has its own complex structure and has a huge impact on others. components of the system of regulation of the economic behavior of the subject.
Economic theory, describing various models of economic behavior of the subject, traditionally proceeds from several premises, namely: a person is an independent individual who makes independent decisions based on his personal preferences; selfish – he primarily cares about his interest and seeks to maximize his own benefit; rational – he consistently strives for the goal and calculates the comparative costs of a particular choice. the means of achieving it; is informed – he not only knows his own needs well, but also has sufficient information about the means of satisfying them. “We are faced with the image of a “competent egoist” who rationally and independently pursues his own benefit and serves as a model of a “normal average” person. For such actors, all kinds of political, social and cultural factors are nothing more than external frameworks or fixed boundaries that keep them in a kind of bridle, preventing some egoists from realizing their benefits at the expense of others in too frank and crude ways. This normal average person is the basis of the general model called homo economicus (“economic man”). On it, with certain deviations, almost all the main economic theories are built (Radaev V.V., 1997).
In the context of our analysis, the model of economic culture, in the part in which it is described and worked out by us to this day, can adequately explain the economic behavior of an economic entity, based on the listed prerequisites. However, economic sociology, deeply studying the various social mechanisms that influence the course of economic processes, orients us to identify a wider range of social factors that affect the economic environment. behaviour. Of course, no one disputes that the subject of economic relations is relatively independent, more or less selfish, as a rule, rational and more or less informed. However, economic sociology is primarily interested in the influence on the choice of a particular type of economic behavior exerted by such factors as: the subject’s belonging to a certain social stratum, the structure of his connections within the socio-professional group, the existing system of relations with representatives of other groups. Economic sociology tries to find out what is the role of economic culture in regulating the economic behavior of the subject and how social stereotypes affect this process.
Therefore, a complex block of socio-psychological characteristics of the subject has been introduced into the model of economic culture, which affects the work of all other components of the model. Depending on the goals of the analysis, the content of this block can include such characteristics of the (personified) economic entity as gender, age, education, type of nervous activity, etc. The same characteristics, in their aggregate expression and manifestation, can be used to assess the specifics of a collective economic entity and, as a consequence, the specifics of its economic culture, economic thinking and economic behavior (for example, male, female, youth labor collective, etc.). Using sociometry tools, it is possible to measure a number of group characteristics. Obviously, a labor collective that, for example, is distinguished by a high index of group cohesion (the index is generally determined by dividing the sum of “mutual positive elections” of group members by the maximum possible number of such elections in this group) will behave more rationally (including) in economic activity than the team in which this indicator is low.
The regularities of the influence of the block of socio-psychological characteristics of the subject on other components of the constructed model lie in the interdisciplinary field of cognition and, in addition to economic sociology, are included in the sphere of scientific interests of social psychology, which studies the laws of human behavior in a group, and economic psychology, which concentrates its attention on a person in the world of things.
In this context, the socio-psychological characteristics of the subject act as an external factor of influence in relation to the other components of the model (therefore, the connections on the scheme are unilaterally directed). Of course, it is possible to reflect on the reverse influence of, say, economic thinking or economic culture on the emotional sphere of the individual or on the status characteristics of the subject, which can be the subject of a separate analysis.
It should be noted that the described theoretical constructions are necessary conditions for analysis, without which it would be impossible in the end and synthesis with access to a typology of situations, which allows to deepen (and at the same time concretize) the explanatory possibilities of the concept of economic culture as a regulator of the economic behavior of the subject. are conditionally zero) to a positive position (regulatory opportunities are maximum and conditionally equal to one). All other situations are of an intermediate nature.
The negative situation consists in the fact that all possible variants of a particular type of economic behavior within the framework of the “set of options” of this economic thinking have been exhausted; undeveloped economic consciousness is not able to translate the project of a new type of economic behavior; the goal (or goals) remain significant for the subject, but unattainable due to the first two circumstances. The regulatory role of economic culture (as a transformer) is reduced in this case to zero, since none of its functions (translational, selection, innovative) are realized.
There may be one of the intermediate situations, which consists in the fact that all possible variants of a particular type of economic behavior within the framework of this economic thinking have been exhausted; economic consciousness is able to broadcast the project of a new type of economic behavior. However, the state of economic culture (the load of the command module of the transformer with rigid, inelastic social stereotypes) does not contribute to the effective interaction of economic consciousness and economic thinking. The regulatory role of economic culture is limited to the implementation of the translational function, while the selection and innovation functions, which provide flexibility of interconnection, are not performed.
The positive situation is that using a set of options for a certain type of economic behavior within the framework of this economic thinking, the subject effectively copes with the task and thereby increases his readiness for this type of economic behavior. Economic thinking transmits to the economic consciousness information about the successful testing in practice of the proposed strategy, which enriches the economic consciousness in terms of saturating it with proven – practical Experience. Readiness for not only selective, but also innovative moments of economic activity increases and stabilizes during the development of an everyday program of an economic type of behavior that contributes to the strengthening of economic thinking and the constant feeding of economic consciousness as a reserve of intelligence of each individual subject.
Thus, the optimization of the regulatory role of economic culture is characterized, firstly, by the “inclusion” in the work of all components of the analyzed system; secondly, by the strengthening of the interaction of the system with the external environment; thirdly, by the strengthening of interaction within the system. The optimal role of economic culture in regulating the economic behavior of the subject is normative in most civilized, industrialized countries. They go to this in different ways, under the influence of different (often opposite) social mechanisms, but achieve equally high results (for example, european, Japanese and American labor markets).
In the conditions of the post-Soviet market, the situation is such that the demands and needs of the new developing economy are significantly ahead of the psychological readiness of the subjects of economic behavior to meet these needs. The psychology of the employee and the psychology of the owner, objectively necessary in the current state of affairs, are at the stage of formation. In short, the expectations of economic entities do not coincide, and sometimes (as our sociological research shows) are contrary to modern demands and realities of the emerging market.
The strategy for overcoming this social contradiction is: in the development of economic consciousness by comprehending the operation of economic laws in their natural manifestation and the fullest performance of their functions; in the development of economic thinking in the course of changing the structure of social practice (as the unity of economic activity and economic relations in the process of reform); in the development of economic culture itself by saturating it with the necessary for this At the stage of development of society by the volume and quality of knowledge, which will allow it to be equally fluent in both the language of strategy and the language of tactics of economic transformations.
The constructed sociological model of economic culture is the basis for the typology of economic behavior of subjects. The explanatory capabilities of the model allow us to reveal the mechanisms for the formation of various types of economic behavior, depending on the degree of realization by the economic culture of the subject of its main functions – translational, selection, innovative. We will illustrate with specific examples the basic principles of working with the model of economic culture.
According to the sociological monitoring “Man and the Market”
(See: Man and the Market: Sociological Monitoring / Shavel S.A., Danilov A.N., Rakov A.A. et al.; Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. Mn., 1992. pp. 140–149.), the choice of the condition for making money divides respondents into two approximately identical groups. The former would like to live, albeit poorer, but with a guaranteed level of income and without risk. The second is to live richer, and for this they agree to take risks and act with the initiative. Representatives of the first group can be attributed to the implementers of the pre-market type of economic behavior. The pre-market type of behavior is characterized by the formula “guaranteed income at the price of a minimum labor cost” or “minimum income with a minimum labor costs”. This type of behavior fit well into the image of the Soviet economy and was formed by a powerful command and administrative system that brought up people who were not able to make responsible decisions and take risks.
In general, carriers of the pre-market type of economic behavior are characterized by rejection of the market or a wary attitude towards it, a low assessment of their own ideas about the market economy and a high level of concern about inflation, unemployment, etc. With a decrease in living standards, they are oriented to work more intensively at their main workplace, count on income from the household plot and have high hopes for social guarantees from the state.
Let us analyze the prerequisites for the formation of the pre-market type of economic behavior in the domestic economy. To do this, it is necessary, first of all, to assess the content of economic consciousness formed by many years of experience in the functioning of the socialist economic system. The components that make up the economic consciousness are factors that determine the direction of the economic development strategy for economic entities of various levels. Such components are: a tendency to identify the concepts of “stable” and “static” development of the economy; belief in the infallibility of the state plan, the predominance of quantitative methods for assessing the efficiency of production to the detriment of qualitative ones and, as a result, a pronounced orientation towards the extensive development of the national economy. In accordance with this approach, “more” began to be perceived as a synonym for “better”. The growth rates assessed the advantages of the new system and the effectiveness of the management system, determined the success of industries and enterprises, and encouraged the winners in socialist competition. The orientation towards quantitative growth has firmly entered scientific ideas and the mass consciousness, causing an undifferentiated approach to assessing the dynamics of economic indicators (Abalkin L.I., 1987). This is one of the rather dangerous varieties of the gross approach. The undifferentiated approach is based on combining in one bracket or, to put it more roughly, lumping together the production of final and intermediate products, fundamentally new equipment and equipment of yesterday, goods that are in high demand of the population and have long gone out of fashion. This approach does not contain reliable information about real processes, distorts the assessment of economic dynamics. These are the main dominants of the economic consciousness formed in Soviet society, the influence of which on the course of socio-economic processes remains significant even in the transition period.
Let’s trace how economic consciousness (as a component of social consciousness) forms the corresponding type of economic thinking, characteristic of the carriers of the pre-market type of economic behavior. To do this, we need to analyze the content of economic culture as a social mechanism that ensures the relationship between economic consciousness and economic thinking. Values, norms, rules and patterns of behavior that make up economic culture are their own A kind of “prism”, passing through which, the “beam” of the strategy of economic development, generated by economic consciousness, is refracted, transformed into the tactics of direct economic decisions. The economic culture of economic entities, “nurtured” on the Soviet principles of management, is characterized by low variability, homogeneity, straightforwardness, a high degree of dependence on ideological supersystems, low creativity, hostility to alternative values and norms. Figuratively speaking, the content of such an economic culture can be illustrated by statements that have turned into social stereotypes: “The initiative is punishable”, “The authorities are more visible …”, “My business is small …”, “Everyone takes, and am I worse?”, “The state will not become impoverished”, etc. As a result, economic thinking, formed under the influence of the described economic culture, is characterized by a significant degree of irrationality, “parochial” orientation, inconsistency of content, and in in recent years , also emotional overload.
As the monitoring sociological studies conducted by the staff of the Department of Economic Sociology of the Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus show, this type of economic culture continues to be reproduced in significant volumes, forming the corresponding – pre-market – type of economic behavior of business entities.
Based on the model (see Fig. 12.1), we can say that the economic culture of the carriers of the pre-market type of economic behavior has a weak autonomy, is characterized by a high degree of declarativeness and directiveness of its components. A low level of autonomy indicates a significant dependence of economic culture on other types of cultures (primarily on ideological culture). A high level of declarativeness indicates the prevalence of values and values in the sphere of culture. norms that are only proclaimed, but not implemented in practice. The declarativeness of economic culture is an indicator that culture functions in the mode of significant external regulation. A high level of directiveness characterizes the strong dependence of economic culture on various supersystems that have the right to direct.
Thus, the economic culture of economic entities, which eventually implement the pre-market type of economic behavior, performs mainly a translational function, and the subject uses in his activities mainly those norms, rules and patterns of behavior that no longer meet the requirements of the changed socio-economic sphere of society. As a result, economic thinking operates with a set of options for economic behavior that is not able to ensure the success of the subject. in his economic activities. Such a set of options is characterized by low variability and extensive orientation, and the economic thinking of the subject is focused on a purely quantitative expansion of the range of this set without an increment of quality. The situation is aggravated by the fact that constant failures in trying to achieve the goal, with the help of available options for economic behavior, lead to an emotional overload of economic thinking. As a result, the entity carries out its economic activities, being in a state of permanent stress.
One of the fundamental social contradictions of the transition period is the inconsistency of the real characteristics of economic behavior implemented by business entities in practice with those characteristics that would meet the social needs of the development of the domestic market economy. The essence of these needs is the expanded reproduction of the so-called market type of economic behavior.
The initial type of market economic behavior can be characterized by the formula “maximum income at the cost of the maximum labor costs”.It assumes a high degree of economic activity on the part of the individual, his understanding that the market provides opportunities for improving welfare in accordance with the efforts, knowledge, skills (in particular, the ability to take professional risks). Actually, the market type of economic behavior is still in the formation stage and largely depends on from the nature of the course of economic reforms in society. Of great importance is the degree of compliance of reforms with the expectations of economically active individuals. The more fully the ongoing reforms meet the economic interests of economic entities, the more pronounced the positive orientation of their economic culture, which orients the subjects to diverse, intensive and legal economic activity.
In terms of the constructed model, the economic culture of the carriers of the initial market type of economic behavior contains a very flexible system of value orientations and performs quite fully all its basic functions – translational, selection, innovative. As a result, a diverse set of options for economic behavior is formed in the sphere of economic thinking, allowing the subject to quickly adapt to new environmental conditions and adequately behave in the sphere of economic thinking. economic activity, solving the economic problems facing it. Economic thinking is characterized by rationality, emotional balance, balance.
A significant problem of the transition period is the problem of developing mechanisms for transforming the pre-market type of economic behavior into a market one with its subsequent stable reproduction. Ways to solve this problem are associated with purposeful actions of the state to create favorable conditions (economic, social, legal, political, informational), which would stimulate entities to intensify their economic activities, including in non-state sector of the economy.
In fact, the lack of necessary knowledge, an unstable socio-economic and legal situation, the destruction of the previous system of value orientations and other factors contribute to the transformation of the initial market type of economic behavior into a pseudo-market one. An active orientation towards entrepreneurship persists only in 1/3 of the carriers of the initial market type of economic behavior, 2/3 of the respondents in the conditions of a decline in the standard of living are going to earn extra money in their free time, in including 1/3 – to engage in repurchase speculation, i.e. to follow the formula “maximum income at the cost of a minimum of costs (See: Man and the market: Sociological monitoring / Shavel S.A., Danilov A.N., Rakov A.A. et al.; Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. Mn., 1992. pp. 140–149).
The transformation of the original market type of economic behavior by 2/3 into a pseudo-market one reflects the costs of the emerging new market economy. Low wages at the main place of work, which does not provide even a simple reproduction of the spiritual and physical strength of the worker, forces people to look for various additional sources of livelihood. The lack of a clear economic concept of the reorganization of society (at least until recently) leads some to the loss of motivation for professional creativity and innovation, others – motivates to improve their well-being through adventurous, semi-legal and illegal activities. The presence of a pseudo-market type of economic behavior in a particular social system indicates a low level of its development, the absence of a clearly expressed concept of this development, which is characteristic in one way or another for developing countries.
The economic culture of entities that implement a pseudo-market type of economic behavior in their economic activity performs mainly a pseudo-innovative function, which in fact is an unjustifiably exaggerated selection. The basic principle of pseudo-market economic culture – “maximizing benefits while minimizing labor costs” – orients the subjects of activity to form such tactics of their individual economic development that would be provided the shortest path to the desired goal at the lowest cost, even if it involves more or less gross violations of written and unwritten laws. Economic behavior, formed under the influence of such a culture, is, as a rule, adventurous in nature and is focused on achieving short-term goals.
Thus, in terms of the constructed sociological model, we can say that economic culture as a social mechanism operating at the macro level currently does not sufficiently provide satisfaction of social needs for a number of reasons. Undeveloped economic consciousness, which has long been formed outside the field of action of objective socio-economic laws, is being rebuilt slowly and is not currently the basis for an adequate economic thinking (as a form of manifestation of economic consciousness in practical activities). Economic thinking, which is essentially forced to function “in limbo”, is characterized by significant irrationality and emotional overload. Finally, the economic culture itself, formed in the conditions of an administrative-command, planned economy, is not able to fully perform its main functions – translational, selection, innovative, which are designed in their entirety to provide culture with the ability to transform the strategy of economic development, set by the state of economic consciousness in society, into a meaningful tactic of specific economic decisions.
The strategy for the development of economic culture with the aim of turning it into a social mechanism that would meet social needs is associated with the purposeful creation of conditions for the “inclusion in work” of all sub-submechanisms of culture, responsible, first of all, for the performance of selection and innovative functions. One of the sub-mechanisms of economic culture, ensuring the implementation of the selection function, is the principle of interaction of various patterns of behavior based on different forms of ownership (state, collective, private, on the use of internal and foreign markets, on top management and self-government, on market and administrative levers of economic management, etc.). The degree of diversity of economic culture, the wider the range of such relations, as well as the more significant the differences between them. Diversity is seen as evidence of the development and vitality of economic culture: the greater this diversity, the richer the culture, the more capable it is of self-development. One of the main submechanisms responsible for the performance of the innovative function is the principle of interaction of norms based on fully conscious norms and values, and those that are based on habit, ingrained traditions, patterns of behavior characteristic of a particular social order. The possibilities of influencing this submechanism in order to involve new values, norms and patterns of behavior in the content of economic culture (in comparison with those that are outdated and do not reflect the actual needs of the development of society) are associated with an increase in the level of education of subjects and the expansion of the spheres of their economic activity.
The regulatory properties of culture are manifested all the more dynamically the process of its renewal. Conversely, the preservation of outdated values, norms, and incentives for behavior testifies to the weakness of its regulatory potentials and negatively affects social development. The activation of sub-mechanisms responsible for the performance by economic culture of its basic functions is a prerequisite for increasing the regulatory role of economic culture in the process of forming active market types. economic behavior. This will allow the economic culture to fully function as a social mechanism that provides social needs for the reproduction of certain types of economic behavior of economic entities.