Academic journal article Management Revue

Changes in Workplace Situation and Work Values. Relations and Dynamics within Different Employment Regimes

Academic journal article Management Revue

Changes in Workplace Situation and Work Values. Relations and Dynamics within Different Employment Regimes

Article excerpt

Introduction

In recent years, there have been intense debates on changing work and employment conditions, on the one hand, and on the change in work values, on the other. As for workplace situation, particularly the development toward high performance work practices and the related improvements toward more independent work and more interesting jobs have been topics of these debates (see, e.g., Appelbaum et al, 2000; Kalleberg, 2001). At the same time, tendencies of erosion and decline, specifically with regard to job security or income, have been found (Kalleberg, 2001, 2009, 2011; Ashford et al., 2007; Osterman & Shulman, 2011). Another strain of literature discusses the changes in work values. Earlier studies assumed a growing emphasis on intrinsic work values (e.g., interesting job, independent work) (Ester et al., 1994; Harding & Hikspoors, 1995; Yankelovich et al., 1985), but more recent research indicates that the importance of extrinsic values (e.g., income) has also been increasing (Cozma, 2011; Ester et al., 2006).

Since up to now these two discussion strands have not been integrated systematically, we do not know how changes in workplace situation and in work values are related (but see Kalleberg, 2007, 2008; Reynolds & Aletraris, 2010). However, this issue is highly relevant because a match or mismatch between workplace situation and work values is crucial for job quality and job satisfaction of employees (Kalleberg, 2007). It further impacts on organisational commitment, job performance, and employee turnover (e.g., Hoffman & Woehr, 2006; Kristof-Brown et al., 2005; Verquer et al., 2003) and is thus relevant also from an economic and societal perspective.

The main objective of this article is, therefore, to analyse the interrelations between changes in workplace situation and work values. Of special significance is the question of match or mismatch between workplace situation and work values. Within this perspective, work values (resp. desirable job characteristics or job orientations) are understood as a point of reference to assess a workplace situation because they signify what people expect from work (e.g., Dose, 1997; Ros et al., 1999; Bu & Mckeen, 2001). "Work values are beliefs pertaining to desirable end-states (e.g., high pay) or behaviour (e.g., working with people) [...]; they refer to what a person wants out of work in general, rather than to the narrowly defined outcomes of particular jobs" (Ros et al., 1999, p. 54). As values generally serve to assess the social world, work values are important for the evaluation of the workplace, the attitudes to specific workplace situations, and the respective behavioural response (Ros et al., 1999; Gahan & Abeysekera, 2009).

The research question will be addressed from a macro-level perspective. The potential influence of different employment regimes is analysed and discussed (Gallie, 2007, 2009; Korpi, 1978, 2006) because it can be assumed that the institutional framework influences the relations and dynamics between changes in workplace situation and work values. Theoretical assumptions are tested using crosssectional data of the International Social Survey Program (ISSP) for three time periods (1989, 1997, and 2005), covering five countries (USA, Great Britain, West Germany, Norway, and Hungary).

Findings reveal various change patterns which can be related to different theoretical assumptions. With regard to job security, an opposing dynamic of workplace situation and work values can be observed. Regarding other extrinsic (income, career opportunities) and intrinsic dimensions (interesting job, independence at work) of work life, results point to an adaptation of work values to the experienced workplace situation. In addition, there are also situations in which workplace situation is adapted or readapted to work values of employees. Assumptions made within the employment regime approach cannot be verified. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.