In the planned Soviet plan economy, the agricultural enterprises in Ukraine played a significant role in maintaining the social infrastructure in rural areas. In Over the course of transition, the economic and political conditions forhas drastically changed. The state greatly reduced a financing offor rural social infrastructure. Additionally,Moreover, an agricultural production significantly fell. As a result, the agricultural enterprises partially cut their support of social infrastructure in the rural areas, making it partially and and in some cases, even completely depleted ited. As a result of this tense situation in the rural areas of Ukraine, the goal of this dissertation was was to discuss the changes of social and economic functions of the agricultural enterprises in the course of transition by surveying 72 successors of the former kolkhozes and sowchoses in Sumy Oblast. On the base of Based on this case study, and a historical analysis of agricultural structures and the social security system, the following phenomena were identified: In spite of the positive expectations of western experts, even after ten years of transition the agricultural enterprises in Ukraine demonstrate constancy in terms of their size measured in hectares, livestock herd and employment, and in terms of using farm assets collectively. Despite economic difficulties, the agricultural enterprises continue providing social services. Moreover, the profitable enterprises provide more social financing per worker. The number of workers wasere reduced, but for instance in comparison to the new German federal states, which have with a similar agrarian structure, and in comparison to other transition economies like Czech Republic and Hungary, for instance, the agricultural enterprises in Ukraine still employ a high number of labour per hectare. A theoretical analysis of this phenomenon was conducted from occurred in terms of both an economic and sociological perspectives. In both scientific disciplines the methods of institutional theory are especially suiteds to explain the above mentioned phenomena.