The aims of the research described in this thesis have been to examine the role of joint
ventures in trade between Western countries and the former socialist countries of Eastern
Europe up to and including 1990; and to provide original case study materials of EastWest
joint ventures established in the former Cornecon area during this period. By
choosing 1990 as a cut-off date the author was able to record the effect of the post-1989
reforms on joint ventures before the fragmentation of the Soviet Union.
The research methods of the thesis, namely literature search, structured interviews and a
postal questionnaire survey enabled the author to examine the role of joint ventures from
existing research on the subject as well as contribute new knowledge to the subject by
recording Western companies' immediate responses to the rapidly changing economic and
political environment in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The thesis begins by presenting the factors which led the author to research East-West
joint ventures, gives the rationale for the application of the above research methods and
the consequent practical implications of the methodology. This is followed by an
examination of the role· of joint ventures in international business, and the effects of
Soviet and East European reforms on East-West trade and industrial co-operation, thereby
providing the theoretical and historical framework for analysing the role of joint ventures
in East-West trade. This analysis begins with an examination of the legal provisions for
joint ventures in the former CMEA countries, followed by a discussion of the data obtained from literature searches. This data provides information about the number of
joint ventures, the size of foreign capital invested, the joint ventures' activities and the
extent of individual Western countries' participation in East-West joint ventures. The
literature search is succeeded by the case histories of Western companies engaged in joint
ventures collected between 1986 and 1989 which were up-dated in March/April 1992, and
the results of a survey conducted in December 1990 among the British partners of AngloSoviet
joint ventures. These provide illustrations of Western companies' experiences at
micro-level before and after the political changes in Eastern Europe in 1989.
To conclude, the author comments on the effectiveness of the research methods employed,
reflects on the findings of the thesis and makes suggestions for further research based on
the evidence presented in the thesis.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.