Soviet Work Attitudes: The Issue of Participation in Management

Soviet Work Attitudes: The Issue of Participation in Management

Soviet Work Attitudes: The Issue of Participation in Management

Soviet Work Attitudes: The Issue of Participation in Management

Excerpt

When a distinct sociological literature began to emerge in the Soviet Union in the early 1960s, there were good reasons for some of the Soviet scholars in this area to turn their attention to the study of work attitudes. What could be more appropriate in a society that proclaimed as one of its goals the transformation of labor into "a prime living need" rather than merely "a means to subsistence"? And it seemed natural to ask: How much progress had been made toward developing a distinctive "communist attitude toward work"? What were the behavioral correlates of such an attitude.

Quite apart from the Marxian ideological heritage and its expectation of changed work attitudes, however, there were more immediate and "practical" justifications for the serious study of attitudes toward work. Even a cursory acquaintance with the Soviet literature on labor problems provides abundant evidence of chronic difficulties with excessive labor turnover, poor work discipline, faulty work organization, and disappointing productivity performance. While some of these problems could be initially regarded as the normal accompaniment of the rapid and disruptive transformation of a predominantly peasant population into an industrial work force, they did not disappear when this work force began to be recruited largely from nonpeasant . . .

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