Clanism: Definition and Implications for Human Resource Management

Dana Minbaeva, Maral Muratbekova-Touron

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    The objectives of this paper are: (1) to present and develop clanism as an indigenous management concept in Central Asia, and (2) to analyze the effect of clanism on a specific management function-human resource management (HRM)-in the concrete context of Kazakhstan. this exploratory study employs a qualitative research. the data indicate that the degree to which clanism affects hRM practices depends, to a great extent, on the type of company. clanism's effect is strong in state-owned companies and moderate in privately held companies, while it is weak in the subsidiaries of multinational companies. Furthermore, the influx of western MNCs has influenced Kazakhstani HRM in general and lessened the influence of clanism on HRM. however, some characteristics of the local labor market may strengthen the effect of clanism on hRM practices. The paper proposes a definition of clanism; discusses the reasons for clanism's existence; investigates how clanism differs from other indigenous concepts, such as blat and guanxi; and analyzes how clanism affects HRM practices in Kazakhstan, a country that is strategically important for international management.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalM I R: Management International Review
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)109-139
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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