This article deals with the consequences of systemic change in one of the transition countries of Central and Eastern Europe: Poland. Analysis is focused on two interrelated areas: management practice and management education. Unique characteristics of Polish economy, society and management are addressed. Business environment characterized by deep and prolonged institutional, economic and social change leads to “generalized uncertainty”. Four distinctively different phases of managerial response to this environment are analyzed: survival, functional restructuring, process restructuring and continuous improvement. Each one of them calls for different kind of managerial competences. Cultural change is indicated as a key factor conditioning the process of buildup of managerial competence and managerial identity transfer. Management education is perceived as the most important facilitator of this process, which developed under the strong influence of Western practice. Two phases of this development are identified: early imitation and mature imitation. Because of strong economic pressures triggered by transition environment, highly competitive market of educational services in the field of management emerged in Poland.

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