Does size matter? A qualitative study into areas of corruption where a firm's size influences prospects for distributors of foreign-made goods in Russia

Alex Kouznetsov, Mohan Dass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore areas where business corruption in Russia affects distributors of foreign goods (both local and foreign owned) and whether its effects vary depending on whether the distributor is small or large. Design/methodology/approach - The paper primarily employs a qualitative research technique of face-to-face interviews. The in-depth semi-structured interview method is chosen because it is the only option for collecting data on such a sensitive topic. Findings - The findings reveal the areas of corruption where distributors of foreign goods in Russia are most likely to be affected and suggest that, though widespread in Russia, corruption may have far greater effect on smaller distributors as compared to large firms. Large distributing firms can avoid involvement in corruption in some of the areas explored. This in turn may limit small-sized foreign manufacturers' capability to compete in this market, as they are most likely only able to contact small-sized distributors. Research limitations/implications - The research could be extended to a broader sample of other sectors of the economy where distribution of foreign-made goods takes place. Carrying out a study in other emerging economies to test findings of this research would also contribute to the limited body of research on business environment in emerging economies. Originality/value - The paper presents findings that are based on primary sources - interviews with distributors conducting business in Russia. Hence, its originality and value to contemporary distributors, whether currently in business or conducting feasibility studies to distribute foreign goods in Russia. This research paper can also be considered a valuable platform for further research in this field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-67
Number of pages17
JournalBaltic Journal of Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes



  • Corruption
  • Distribution operations
  • Emerging markets
  • Foreign trade
  • Russia
  • Small to medium-sized enterprises

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