Posted 19 августа 2021,, 10:06

Published 19 августа 2021,, 10:06

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Work is not a wolf... How the Russian work ethic differs from Western and Japanese

Work is not a wolf... How the Russian work ethic differs from Western and Japanese

19 августа 2021, 10:06
If in the Western and Japanese models the employee is aimed at activity and initiative, then in the Russian one he seeks only to complete his own task with the least effort.

It has long been noted that the work ethic of Russians is very different from that of Western and Asian workers. The blog "Interpreter" brings conclusions from a study of economic anthropologists at Rostov State University of Economics, who formulated the principles of such ethics in Russia:

“The formation of managerial models in Russian society was greatly influenced by the Soviet experience, which turned out to be more difficult to get rid of than from the leading and guiding role of the CPSU. The specificity of this experience lies in the fact that it combines authoritarianism and bureaucracy, as well as the lack of initiative among the majority of workers - only in the Russian environment could the saying “initiative is punishable” be formed. This attitude differs from both the Western and the Japanese "model" of the worker. In Western culture, an employee should be focused on activity and initiative, this gives an advantage in competition with other employees. In the Japanese model, the employee identifies himself with the team and works not only for the sake of his own career, but also for the team, his motivation is high enough.

The Russian worker differs from these models. He is focused only on completing his own task with the least effort and is alienated from both the leadership and the team. "Collectivism", often attributed to Russian workers, is in fact just a lack of personal initiative in conditions of uncertainty of its results. For Russian workers, it is not so much collectivism as solidarity that is characteristic, but collectivism as a mutual responsibility. This is due to the insecurity of the employee from the arbitrariness of the management, which gives rise to spontaneous practices of evading responsibility.

The team "covers" the intruder to the best of its ability, since next time it may be necessary to cover any other. An employee's career in Russian conditions is by no means always associated with an adequate assessment of the quality of his work by the management, therefore there is no reason to prove his professional qualities in excess of the required minimum. “There are no irreplaceable ones” is another cultural attitude that negatively affects the motivation of Russian personnel and Russian leaders.

The domestic personnel management model is characterized by the following features:

- Low importance of competition, both within organizations, and often between them. The problem is that a full-fledged market environment has not developed in Russia. The competitive advantage is not given by individual achievements (in the case of an employee) and not by high efficiency (in the case of an organization), but by the ability to use administrative resources and “negotiate”.

- A high degree of centralization of management. In the Russian administration, there is almost no practice of delegating authority or taking into account the opinions of employees.

- Pendulum mode of labor activity. Situations of increased activity (the famous Russian "rush job") alternate with periods of calm and almost stagnation. This feature has deep historical roots in the peculiarities of peasant labor in Russia with its climatic conditions.

- Equalization.

- The duality of existing norms, the prevalence of informal relations over formal ones. Employee promotion, hiring and firing more often depend on informal relationships than on formal performance indicators and formal rules. This is due to the hostility to “formal norms”, rooted in Russian culture, and the important role of “acquaintances” and “blat” in employment and career".

From the editor: in Russia there is a well-known proverb - "work is not a wolfm it won't run away to the forest", there is a wide known translation mentioning another animal: "work is no bear, it won't go nowhere".