The meaning of working and professional development needs of employees in a post-communist country

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This study represents one of the first attempts to explore the meaning of working in countries undergoing transition from centrally planned to market-oriented economies. The study surveyed 260 engineers from four large industrial enterprises in Russia, and utilized questions from the Meaning of Working (MOW) instrument. The main finding regarding the work centrality dimension is that spending time with family was the most important among life roles and activities, followed by work, and then by leisure. The response to the lottery question ('would you stop working if you win the lottery?') was quite similar to that observed in countries of the West, with 85% of respondents willing to continue working even without any significant material need for work income. Regarding desired work outcomes, interesting and satisfying work and contacts with interesting people were rated much higher than income and time absorption, and higher than prestige and status or service to the society. Differences between beliefs of respondents from Moscow and a provincial city (Vladimir) point towards a significant 'capital city' effect on six valued work outcome dimensions. Status and prestige and societal contributions ('my work gives me an opportunity to serve the society') were the most significant among these factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-119
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Cross Cultural Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005


  • Economy in transition
  • Meaning of working
  • Russian economy
  • Work-related beliefs


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