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Iryna Tykhomyrova, the new president of the International Management Institute of Kiev (MIM), says Ukraine must enhance managerial awareness if it is to fulfil its potential on the global stage. She has pledged to develop MIM’s faculty and facilities to support that goal.

While avoiding dir­ect judgment on Ukraine’s management class, Prof Tykhomyrova has also strongly hinted that communist-era thinking and associated autocratic leadership styles remain far too prevalent in the country, hampering broader development.

“Structural changes in the economy mean Uk­raine’s management must develop new attitudes to managing the workforce.

“Management and owners of Ukrainian business are understanding that their most valuable asset ‘goes home every night’, [but] I have to admit those changes are slower than we would want,” she says.

Although MIM is located in the relatively comfortable, modernising Ukrainian capital, Prof Tykhomyrova is aware of poor conditions in the provinces, where appalling industrial safety in sectors such as coalmining has severely damaged Ukraine’s international image.

“I was born in Donbass, the eastern Ukrainian coal mining area, and…as I still have some relatives living there, I know a lot first hand about the situation in the mines.”

But this state of affairs, an inheritance of communism and the twin impacts of globalisation and a fast-growing economy, mean huge potential for business schools as companies fight to keep up.

“With the admission of Ukraine to the World Trade Organisation, our companies going public and international and a lack of international managerial expertise in Ukrainian business, [means] our responsibilities add up.

“It brings new opportunities for us,” she says.

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