Changes of work values in changing economy: perspectives of men and women

Moshe Sharabi (Department of Sociology and Anthropology, The Max Stern Yezreel Valley College, D.N. Emek Yezreel, Israel)
Itzhak Harpaz (Graduate School of Management, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Publication date: 28 June 2013



The purpose of this paper is to examine the changes of life domains centrality (work, family, leisure, community and religion) and of work goals preferences (interest, good pay, interpersonal relations, job security, etc.) in Israel, according to gender, between 1981 and 2006.


This is a follow‐up research regarding “meaning of work” studies, held in 1981 and 1993. The participants constitute representative samples of the Israeli labor force in 1981, 1993 and 2006.


While in the past, men showed a higher work centrality than women, in 2006 no traditional gender differences were found in work centrality; however, family centrality, as in the past, was higher among women than among men. The most meaningful change among men and women was regarding “job security”, and this goal has become more and more important throughout the 25 years of the study.

Social implications

The transformation of men's and women's work values reflect the economic and social changes and those changes are influenced mainly by governmental decisions, for better or for worse. The findings disclose an increased potential for work‐family conflict among Israeli women in the last decade and this conflict can be reduced by economic and social policy.


This unique cross‐sectional study explores the changes in the importance of life domains and work goals among men and women over the course of time. Moreover, the study explains the causes for the major trends by social, economical and political factors.



Sharabi, M. and Harpaz, I. (2013), "Changes of work values in changing economy: perspectives of men and women", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 40 No. 8, pp. 692-706.

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