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How a Soviet miner from the 1930s helped create today’s intense corporate workplace culture

(Version anglaise seulement)
par Bogdan Costea, Professor of Management and Society, Lancaster University
Peter Watt, International Lecturer in Management and Organisation Studies, Lancaster University
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One summer night in August, 1935, a young Soviet miner named Alexei Stakhanov managed to extract 102 tonnes of coal in a single shift. This was nothing short of extraordinary (according to Soviet planning, the official average for a single shift was seven tonnes).

Stakhanov shattered this norm by a staggering 1,400%. But the sheer quantity involved was not the whole story. It was Stakhanov’s achievement as an individual that became the most meaningful aspect of this episode. And the work ethic he embodied then – which spread all over the USSR – has been invoked by managers in the west…


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