Corporations are the basis of the economies of most countries of the world. At the same time, this term can correspond to economic entities with very different characteristics - in terms of scale, structure, development priorities. What are the modern approaches to the concept of the term "corporation"? How can these structures function around the world?
What is a corporation?
The term "corporation" can be understood as:
- association of several companies in order to jointly solve complex business problems;
- a large company or, in some cases, a holding company that includes several subsidiaries;
- a political entity with a unified system of management and decision-making - at the level of a city or even a state.
But most often a corporation is understood as a holding or association of businesses, sometimes monopolistic ones (for example, in the form of cartels). Corporate relations between the founders of the relevant economic entity, as well as their partners, are usually established at the level of civil law and labor agreements. The more effective the legal support of the corporation's activities, the more successful it will be.in business, in interaction with competitors.
Corporate balance of interests
Let's consider such an aspect of the activities of the associations in question as the balance of interests. Those may have the founders of the corporation, managers, ordinary employees. The interests of corporation participants may differ, but they are united by the fact that they are delegated by a specific person to a higher level.
So, an ordinary employee trusts the head of the department to defend his interests. Which, in turn, delegates his own, taking into account those received from the subordinate, to the head, relatively speaking, of the department. After the interests are transferred to the level of top managers of the company and are considered by them, taking into account their priorities. If a person is satisfied with such a scheme of delegation of interests, he, as a rule, successfully integrates into the activities of the corporation.
This feature of the interaction between the participants of the respective associations in business predetermines the need for the development of norms regulating their communication with each other.
The most important condition for the effective development of a corporation is the existence of rules that are recommended to be followed by its employees in realizing their interests. They are usually characterized by a high degree of centralization. It can be noted that the features of the finances of various types of corporations have, in principle, the same property. They are managed by higher structures of the company, key decisions on their distribution are made by top managerscompany.
Norms in a corporation are usually set at the level of local regulations. But it is not always the case. It is quite possible that they will be of an informal nature, passed from one member of the corporation to another orally, but strictly observed. It can be noted that in some corporate structures official norms will be more significant, in others - those that are more correctly classified as informal. It depends on national traditions in the state in which the company is registered, on the policy of the owners, top managers of the company, on the specifics of the segment in which the organization is developing.
Note that for the effective building of relationships in business, as a rule, it is not so much one or another format of corporate norms that matters, but the mechanisms that ensure their observance.
Let's look at the main types of corporations identified by researchers.
Classification of corporations by economic nature
Modern experts classify the considered associations into 3 main types of corporations based on the criterion of their economic nature:
Let's study their specifics in more detail.
Classic corporations are firms that are established with an eye to achieving maximum business efficiency in the form of cost-effective production of goods or services, as well as implying a steady growth in turnover with a subsequent increase in the company's market share. The classical corporation is characterized by a pronounced distinction between the institutions of ownership andmanagement. There are owners of the company who invest in it, and there are managers responsible for its development. The former, as a rule, do not interfere with the activities of the latter. However, hired managers in a classic corporation are usually accountable to the owners of the company.
In the associations in question, a stable culture of interaction between employees is usually established. Depending on the degree of influence of the company, it can be extended to other firms and be approved there. Under the influence of various factors, the components of the corporate structure, once formed, can be changed. This is possible, for example, due to the influence of the field of scientific and technological development, social technology, political development.
Evolution of classic corporations
Thus, researchers identify 3 stages in recent history, within which corporations developed and changed. Thus, new types of associations appeared, largely dissimilar to the previous ones.
Thus, in the middle of the 20th century, corporations began to specialize in the development of new technologies as one of the key competitive advantages in business. Large volumes of production began to be delegated to countries where there were more suitable conditions in terms of profitability for the deployment of the corresponding capacities. In the states in which corporations were registered, head offices and technology centers remained.
In the 70s and 80s, global businesses began to develop with an emphasis onterritorial expansion, to occupy the largest possible share in the international market. This influenced the beginning processes of globalization, the unification of standards, the exchange of corporate experience with the participation of entrepreneurs from different countries.
In the 1990s, social changes began to take place in the structure of global corporations, reflecting the revision by employees of companies of their own role in business. Thus, employees of many firms have ceased to consider themselves as hired specialists, they began to feel like partners of their employer. Of course, the noted trends can be traced in different states with different intensity. Certain types of international corporations and their distinctive features may imply completely unique characteristics of businesses that do not fit into any global concepts.
Later in the article, we will consider examples of some national corporate cultures, indicating that trends that are formed even in the largest economies can not always significantly affect the processes taking place in other states.
The classification and types of corporations formed by modern researchers suggest the allocation of statist associations to a separate category. What are their specifics?
Etatist corporations arose as a response to capitalist trends that were actively developing and spreading their influence in the world. Their founder and main ideologist is the state. It is assumed that it defines the basic norms of the corporate culture of these associations,forms economic and social priorities in the development of relevant structures.
Unlike classical capitalist corporations, etatist associations are established in order to solve, mainly, urgent social and political problems. For example, ensuring the employment of citizens. Where the classical capitalist does not dare to expand production due to the high costs of building infrastructure, the state entity establishing the statist corporation may well initiate the construction of a new factory in order to employ citizens living in the corresponding territory.
In the associations in question, the official norms governing the corporate behavior of employees are extremely important. Such companies developed mainly in the USSR and other socialist countries. At the same time, in the respective states, the essence of the term “corporation”, the concept, economic nature and main types of economic associations were often not considered in the context of real social policy, since they were considered related to the capitalist system.
Thus, the associations in question may have not only an economic, but also a socio-political institutional basis. In this sense, their significance can be much higher in terms of the development of the state than in the case of classical structures.
Another largest category of corporations is creative associations. They belong to the youngest structures. There were creative corporations at the end20th century. Their emergence and spread is mainly associated with the development of communication infrastructure - primarily the Internet. People have a need for communication, for the exchange of information, for digital products capable of shaping emotions.
Consequently, there was a demand for businesses that ready-made such products - games, websites, programs, multimedia content, to supply. The creation of such solutions requires a creative approach - when it is required to develop a product that is not similar to existing ones that competitors have, or is characterized by significant advantages over solutions already on the market.
There are all kinds of creative corporations. Types of the corresponding structures are presented in "offline", "online" varieties. There are large and there are small creative firms. Given the large size of the online market, competition between them can be quite mild. Which is not very characteristic of classic corporations.
The above associations in business are the results of the evolution of the economy, society, and technology. But none of them can be considered obsolete, in most developed countries you can find any corporations represented in these categories. The types of corresponding associations can be classified according to many other criteria. Their specificity depends on the specific approach used by the researcher or developed in the national school of economics.
Essence, types of corporations can be studied using a wide range of methods. Among these is the identificationlegal features of a corporation. That is, those that are based on the provisions of the legislation of a particular country. It will be useful, therefore, to consider the official, traceable at the level of state laws, approach to the classification of the associations in question.
Classification of corporations in Russian law
Thus, the main types of corporations in the Russian Federation under the law are business companies, NGOs, associations, cooperatives, partnerships. If we are talking about a holding, then in the Russian Federation the corresponding structure is most often referred to as a group of companies. There are also state corporations in the Russian Federation, in a sense, which are a subspecies of statist ones, but at the ideological level, rather, they correspond to capitalist concepts of determining priorities in economic development.
The Russian economy is largely integrated with the world. Therefore, the definitions of the term "corporation" adopted in the Russian Federation, the concept, economic nature and main types of relevant associations, in practice can be interpreted taking into account existing international definitions.
For example, the term "concern" is common in Russia and abroad. Depending on the context, it can be understood differently among Russian managers. What can be a concern in the Russian Federation as a type of corporation? The specifics of the financial activities of Western European firms - in particular, German ones, predetermine the frequent use of the term in question in order to designate the largest multinational associations in Europe. In turn, American firms, albeit on a large scale,most often referred to as corporations, or financial groups.
Thus, the term "corporation", the concept and its types can be interpreted differently depending on the traditions adopted in a particular cultural environment of management. It will be useful to get acquainted with the experience of building corporate businesses abroad. Let's study it on the example of some of the largest economies.
National types of modern corporations
Types of corporations can be classified based on national traditions of building relationships between members of the respective association. Thus, it is useful to consider the experience of Japan. The fact is that in this state corporate norms play an exceptionally significant role. At the same time, the most stringent often include just the same ones that are unofficial.
One of the key characteristics of a Japanese corporation is the priority of collective interests over individual ones. A person comes to work in one or another company, as a rule, without considering a transition to another in the short term. This allows him to consistently realize his qualities and, possibly, ensure career growth. Another reason why the prospect of moving to another company may not seem very attractive for a Japanese employee is the fact that the structure, types of corporations that compete with the current employer, most likely, will not be fundamentally different from those that characterize the company in which man works. Most likely, the employee will perform the same functions andget the same salary.
Another thing is the American corporate tradition. It is characterized, in turn, by the priority of the individual over the collective. A person, of course, delegates part of his interests to a higher level, but their volume, as a rule, is significantly lower than if he worked in Japan. This is due to the fact that the corporate culture in the United States can vary significantly in different companies. And this can stimulate the active migration of specialists of different levels from one company to another.
Despite the fact that American and Japanese corporate cultures have a number of obvious differences, this does not prevent specialists from US firms from successfully cooperating with entrepreneurs from Japan. In general, the understanding of the essence of the term "corporation", the definition, the types of relevant associations studied by the American and Japanese schools of management can be based on the same principles. Thus, the corporate models of the US and Japan in a number of contexts will differ in content, but in form they will be very close. And this may be enough to build effective cooperation.
The noted types of international corporations and their distinctive features indicate that, in principle, in any state, unique conditions can form that determine the development of relevant business associations. Especially - if we are talking about states with relatively little experience in building capitalist relations. For example, in Russia. It will be useful to study the mostnotable characteristics of corporate culture in Russia.
Russian corporate culture
What types of corporations have developed in Russia during the period of building capitalism in the country? According to many experts, Soviet traditions are quite strong in the Russian Federation, especially when it comes to large backbone enterprises with state participation. These have a certain similarity with the Japanese concepts of building a corporate culture - when a person is instructed to consider himself as a carrier of predominantly corporate interests while at work.
Citizens of the Russian Federation, finding employment in a particular company, like the Japanese, in many cases are ready to work in it indefinitely, without considering the prospects of moving to another company. But there are types of corporations in Russia, which, in turn, are much closer in their structure to the American concepts of building relationships in business. Usually these are small and medium-sized enterprises, often family businesses. The national Russian corporate tradition is still being formed. How it will look in the foreseeable future depends on many factors - social, foreign economic, foreign policy.
So, we have studied the essence of the term "corporation", the concept and types of relevant associations in terms of concepts common among modern researchers. The type of structures under consideration is represented by the widest range of their varieties. The concept, signs of a corporation, types of corporations in different historical periods were studied taking into accountpolitical, socio-economic factors, processes in the scientific and technical sphere.
In national management traditions, approaches to understanding the specifics of corporations may also differ. But this is not always the case; nevertheless, global trends in many areas of business are quite noticeable, at least when it comes to the forms of corporate associations. There are quite a few criteria for classifying the structures under consideration. One of the most common is considered to be the concept according to which corporations are divided into classical, statist and creative. These types of corporations differ in the number of institutions in their composition, in structure, in development priorities.
In today's advanced economies, you can find firms that fit any of the categories we've looked at. But it is worth noting that in some national economies the share of classical and creative corporations is more noticeable, in others - statist ones. The characteristics of the country's economy depend on what stages in economic development the state has already passed, what social and political tasks it sets for itself.