in the USSR, an organ of economic management, the middle element in the three-level system of industrial management. An industrial association is a single production and economic complex consisting of industrial enterprises, scientific research organizations, design organizations, planning and design organizations, technological organizations, and other units. It may also include production associations and combines.
The first industrial associations were formed in 1965 and 1966. Beginning in the early 1970’s, whole sectors of industry were managed through industrial associations, including the instrumentation, chemical, petroleum, and lumber industries. By the decree of Mar. 2, 1973, Some Steps to Further Improve Industrial Management (Collected Decrees of the USSR, 1973, no. 7, art. 31), the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR obliged ministries and departments of the USSR and the councils of ministers of the Union republics to ensure the transition to two- and three-level industrial management systems, where the central element is the industrial association.
A distinction is made between all-Union industrial associations, which are directly subordinate to ministries and departments of the USSR, and republic industrial associations, which are subordinate to ministries, departments, or the councils of ministers of the Union republics. Both types of industrial associations exercise comprehensive management of the production and economic processes in a subsector of industry or in some large area of a subsector. The basic principles concerning the organization and activity of industrial associations are defined by a general statute on the all-Union and republic industrial association that was ratified by the Council of Ministers of the USSR on Mar. 2, 1973 (Collected Decrees of the USSR, 1973, no. 7, art. 32). An association is managed by an association chief, who organizes the association’s work and bears full responsibility for its activity. A collective organ, a council of directors headed by the association chief, is formed to coordinate the interests of the association with the interests of the enterprises and organizations belonging to it, to make use of the knowledge and experience of guiding specialists, and to increase the responsibility of enterprises and organizations for the results of the economic activity of the industrial association as a whole.
Characteristic features of the activity of the industrial association include organization on the basis of khozraschet (economic accounting) and comprehensive management of production and economic processes. The administration of the association is both the management body for the constituent enterprises and organizations and an independent organization, operating on the basis of khozraschet, that fulfills production and economic functions in a centralized manner. Contractual principles are the basis for the relations of the industrial association as a whole, and of the administration of the association and its enterprises and organizations with other enterprises and organizations. Relations within the industrial association itself are also built on contractual principles.
The comprehensive character of the way production and economic processes are managed in industrial associations ensures uniformity of action by all the association’s enterprises and organizations. It also provides for the conduct of scientific research and planning development work. It ensures the creation of new materials, machines, equipment, assembly components, and technological processes and their introduction into production. It helps satisfy the material and technical needs of the enterprises and organizations belonging to the associations and ensures the marketing of output. Such centralized activity is carried on not only within the industrial association but outside it as well, in relations with other elements of social production. This frees the enterprises and organizations in the industrial associations from auxiliary functions. It also permits the enterprises and organizations to concentrate their efforts on production activity and creates additional opportunities for raising labor productivity and the efficiency of all social production.
V. N. ERSHOV