Motivating Personnel at Russian Nuclear Power Plants: A Case-Study of Motivation Theory Application

By Katsva, Masha; Condrey, Stephen E. | Public Personnel Management, Winter 2005 | Go to article overview

Motivating Personnel at Russian Nuclear Power Plants: A Case-Study of Motivation Theory Application


Katsva, Masha, Condrey, Stephen E., Public Personnel Management


In the former Soviet Union, public administration was not considered an important research area. Consequently, Russia lacks personnel management theories grounded in its unique history and culture. Western theories are currently being applied to personnel management in Russia, particularly at private companies. However, there has been no systematic research concerning personnel motivation at nuclear facilities, which, due to their unique function, may not operate according to standard public administration models. This study is an attempt to understand further the institutional culture prevailing in the facilities that house the world's largest stockpile of nuclear material.

Why is the case of Minatom so important?

Nuclear weapons production was at the core of the huge Soviet military industrial complex. Nuclear weapons were produced by Minatom--an organization analogous to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Minatom had an extensive bureaucracy and was considered one of the most prestigious places to work in the former Soviet Union. Minatom was a government-funded (both the weapons and the civilian complex), classified, inflexible system with a strictly hierarchical chain of command. The collapse of the USSR affected Minatom much more than other Soviet organizations and institutions. Unlike in the United States, where weapons production and security are under the Department of Energy (DOE) but most nuclear power plants are private, in Russia (and in the former Soviet Union) both weapons production and security and NPPs are under Minatom and are therefore public entities. Unlike weapons, nuclear energy is a marketable good, with potential to bring sizeable profits if sold on the internal and external markets. After the collapse of the USSR, there was an attempt to privatize the energy complex, although it failed. In the absence of government money, Minatom's top management tried to keep the industry alive by selling uranium on the world market and by converting nuclear facilities for civilian uses. The only "successful" attempt has been the establishment of a "private" state-funded company under Minatom. However, Minatom was ineffective in the market, mainly because it could not offer competitive quality products at a lower price. (1,2)

Because of its role in defense, Minatom remains the most inaccessible organization in Russia. This means that personnel management still operates virtually as it did under the Soviet system: Western approaches to personnel management are still not used, personnel managers are not trained in a Western manner, and the organization is still resistant to modern practices. An organizational chart of Minatom is presented in Figure 1.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

In addition to the huge challenge presented by the conversion of the military industrial complex, Minatom also faced problems concerning personnel administration: how to encourage people to work and how to retain them? The weapons sector was threatened by the problem of "brain-drain" with 64 percent of employees leaving the industry to emigrate or to work in the private sector. (3) The major problem from the perspective of the U.S. was the prospect of people with know how leaving the country to work in the weapons programs of rogue states. DOE, in response to this danger, launched a Closed Cities Initiative designed to facilitate the transition of nuclear scientists in national nuclear laboratories to peaceful work. (1,2)

The problem of motivation and retention has two additional implications. First, because working with nuclear weapons was traditionally one of the most prestigious occupations in the former Soviet Union (it was extensively financed and attracted the best, most intelligent people), the failure to retain employees has resulted in a brain drain, which has had harmful consequences, not only for the industry, but for the whole country. The second problem is less visible but even more dangerous in its short-term consequences: Those who worked at NPPs became the refugees of Russia's economic collapse. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Motivating Personnel at Russian Nuclear Power Plants: A Case-Study of Motivation Theory Application
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.