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Work Values and Job Rewards Among European Workers

Comparing European Workers Part A

ISBN: 978-1-84950-946-6, eISBN: 978-1-84950-947-3

Publication date: 25 April 2011


Purpose – In this chapter, we examine individual- and country-level differences in 4 work attitudes (work centrality, work commitment, job satisfaction, and autonomy) among 31 European countries in 1999 using a multilevel framework.

Design/methodology/approach – We utilize the 1999/2000 European Values Study to investigate individual- and country-level determinants of work values and job rewards. Our analysis contains 17 traditionally capitalist and 14 post-socialist countries. At the country level, we consider 11 institutional processes as possible explanations for variations in work values and job rewards: post-socialist status, continuous democracy, contentious politics, state capacity, socialist ideology, union density, economic integration, service employment, income inequality, linguistic heterogeneity, and population density.

Findings – We find that traditionally capitalist countries tend to score lower on work values and higher on job rewards than post-socialist countries. Our analyses show that each of the 11 institutional processes, especially continuous democracy and economic integration, has statistically significant effects on the four dependent variables.

Research limitations/implications – Of the 44 hypotheses we made, 23 were supported by statistically significant effects in the predicted direction, 16 were not significant, and 5 were statistically significant in a direction unanticipated by our theory. We discuss possible reasons for the results that did not conform to our expectations.

Originality/value – The study is one of the most comprehensive multination studies of work values and job rewards in that it examines the impact of 11 institutional processes on four different work attitudes among 31 European countries. It is the only study of this scope to rigorously examine the differences between traditionally capitalist and post-socialist countries.



Wallace, M. and Lowe, T.S. (2011), "Work Values and Job Rewards Among European Workers", Brady, D. (Ed.) Comparing European Workers Part A (Research in the Sociology of Work, Vol. 22 Part 1), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 43-84.



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