Russian Workers through the Prism of Human Capital Theory

Латова Н.В.
Russian Workers through the Prism of Human Capital Theory // Social Sciences. 2018. Vol. 49. No. 3. P. 24-41.
DOI 10.31857/S013454860002
ISSN 0134-5486

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Латова Н.В. Russian Workers through the Prism of Human Capital Theory // Social Sciences. 2018. Vol. 49. No. 3. P. 24-41.
DOI: 10.31857/S013454860002
Latova N.V. Russian Workers through the Prism of Human Capital Theory. Social Sciences, 2018, Vol. 49, Issue. 3, pp. 24-41.


Contemporary sociological discourse operates with two interpretations of the human capital concept. Used in its classical (narrow) meaning it allows researcher to obtain quantitative data about the skill level of workers, register and describe the volume of qualification resources present on the labor market. The results of comparison of several countries based on information supplied by the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP)“Work Orientations” 2015 revealed a good level of basic education of Russian workers and on-the-job training (that is, general and specific human capital.) At the same time, few of the Russian workers seek higher and adult education. The desire to acquire adult basic education (up to higher education) looks irrational against the background of a lack of interest in training and education as such. This behavior model of Russian workers hardly fits the classical definition of human capital. This paradox, however, is resolved by a wider interpretation of the term that includes not only educational characteristics but a wider range of indices. It treats human capital not only as a sum-total of professional skills and knowledge but also as certain mental characteristics closely connected with the norms of national culture. This problem has been studied on the basis of data supplied by the all-Russia survey of 2010 carried out by the Institute of Sociology, RAS using the Geert Hofstede VSM94 methodology. This interpretation adds much greater explanatory potential to the human capital concept; it makes it possible to go beyond the purely rational explanation of human behavior and leads to the theory and practice of management. The cultural norms studying within this approach demonstrated that in the Russian work culture regular vocational training (that is, renewal of human capital) is not treated as a generally accepted value. It depends, to a great extent, on the desire of an individual to achieve personal success; his ability of and his strive toward self-presentation, etc. At the same time, the production culture of Russian workers reflected in the Hofstede cultural indices is perfectly adjusted to artel (team), the specifically Russian and highly efficient model of organization of labor.

Ключевые слова:

workers comparative studies adult professional education vocational training specific human capital human potential cultural specifics geert hofstede ethnometrics artel russia


Социология профессий и профессиональных групп
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