The meaning of working among professional employees in Germany, Poland and Russia

K. Peter Kuchinke, Alexandre Ardichvili, Margret Borchert, Andrzej Rozanski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to report the results of an empirical study of the meaning of working, individual level work outcomes, and job and career satisfaction, among professional level employees in business organizations in Russia, Poland, and Germany. Design/methodology/approach The theoretical framework for the study was based on the work by England and colleagues. The sample (n=638) included professional level employees in the medium and large manufacturing and service organizations in the three countries. Correlations, discriminant function analysis, and multiple regressions were used to answer research questions regarding the relationship between the study variables and to determine country differences. Findings Results indicate different patterns and levels of work centrality, desired work outcomes, work role identification, and job and career satisfaction among the three countries. A significant difference was found between work values in Russia, on the one hand, and Germany and Poland, on the other. Gender differences in meaning of work patterns were found among Russian respondents. Job and career satisfaction was related to different combinations of demographic and work meaning variables. Practical implications For human resource development (HRD) and training and development (T&D) professionals working in multinational companies and/or with customers/suppliers in these three countries, the findings imply the need to take into account the similarities and differences in individual meaning of working variables when designing and implementing organization development and training interventions. Originality/value Despite the central role of working for individuals and the central role of the work values construct for the professional fields of training and HRD, research on meaning of working has been sparse in the academic literature. Thus, the study can contribute to a fuller understanding of experience of work and its implications for the theory and practice of training and human resource development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-124
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of European Industrial Training
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 27 2009


  • Germany
  • Job satisfaction
  • Organizations
  • Poland
  • Russia


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