Are Russian workers satisfied with their jobs? If not, why does it matter and what can be done? Empirical evidence based on studies of US workers suggests that job satisfaction tends to correlate positively with labor productivity and negatively with labor turnover, both of which influence firm performance. Improving firm performance without substantially increasing costs is uppermost in the minds of many Russian managers. This paper analyzes the nature and scope of job satisfaction among Russian workers, using survey data to: identify the level of job satisfaction expressed by 1,200 survey participants in response to questions about satisfaction with the job and satisfaction with the work that is done in the job; investigate the variation in job satisfaction explained by differences in worker characteristics – both objective characteristics (age, gender, education, work experience, supervisory responsibilities, unemployment experience, marital status, recent change in workplace, number of jobs held at the time of the interview, for example) and subjective characteristics (attitude toward work); ascertain the link between job satisfaction and select intrinsic and extrinsic job characteristics; and evaluate the extent to which job satisfaction is correlated with alternative measures of organizational commitment. While endogeneity and simultaneity preclude establishing causality, these cross section data do permit evaluation of factors highly correlated with job satisfaction. The specific aim of the paper is to identify factors that increase the probability that a worker will express a high level of job satisfaction. The results will prove useful in designing effective reward structures and/or reducing turnover, as well as establishing management‐training programs to promote more effective teamwork.
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