Skip to main content

State Enterprise, Law of the


Of the many pieces of legislation passed during the period of Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika, the Law of the State Enterprise (enacted 1987) was perhaps the most important. It represented yet another effort to separate long-term perspective planning from day-to-day operational control of enterprises. The latter function was to be the exclusive responsibility of the management, without the petty tutelage characteristic of the Soviet system. Enterprises could now enter into contracts (direct links), make quality improvements, and sell over-plan output without the approval of superior agencies. Local party organs would be banned from using enterprise personnel and materials for their own purposes. The centralized system of supply would control only the essential minimum necessary through orders (zakazy ) from customers, rather than plan targets, as before. Accordingly, legal enforcement of contracts through arbitrazh (civil arbitration) courts and other legal institutions would be enhanced. A new agency was instituted, Gospriyemka (State Acceptance), independent of enterprise management along the military model, with the duty to check whether quality met state standards. Along with enhanced managerial accountability, these provisions were designed to assure that enterprises produced what the public really wanted to buy.

But, perhaps inevitably, the centralized supply organs would still have to check whether the correct volumes, assortments, and qualities of goods had been delivered on time to essential operations, such as the military-industrial complex. Ministries would retain some influence through norms and other indirect instruments, if not direct orders. Aside from some minor products, the State Standards Committee would still set minimum quality requirements. Moreover, party control of personnel and promotions remained untouched until the end of Soviet rule.

See also: gorbachev, mikhail sergeyevich; perestroika


Gregory, Paul R., and Stuart, Robert C. (1998). Russian and Soviet Economic Performance and Structure, 6th ed. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Spechler, Martin C. (1989). "Gorbachev's Economic Reforms: Early Assessments." Problems of Communism 47(5):116120.

Martin C. Spechler

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"State Enterprise, Law of the." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . 21 Jan. 2019 <>.

"State Enterprise, Law of the." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . (January 21, 2019).

"State Enterprise, Law of the." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Retrieved January 21, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.