Human capital of the Russian workers and workers from other countries

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Senior Researcher
Affiliation: Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the RAS
Address: 24/25 Krzhizhanovski st. Moscow, 117218, Russia
Journal nameObshchestvennye nauki i sovremennost
EditionIssue 3

In the modern social discourse there are two interpretations of the concept “human capital”. The use of the concept “human capital” in the classical (narrow) meaning gives the researcher favorable opportunities for obtaining quantitative data on the level of training workers, helps to fix and describe the amount of qualification resource that people operate on the labor market. For example, the comparative study of a number of countries (on the basis of the International Social Survey Programme ISSP “Work Orientations” 2015) revealed a good level of the Russian workers’ basic education, as well as their accumulation of experience in the work process (ie, general and specific human capital). At the same time, among the Russian workers, there is little practice in further training and additional education. The desire to get an advanced basic education (up to the highest one) looks irrational against the background of further total disregard for learning as such. It is difficult to understand this pattern of behavior of the Russian workers within the framework of the classical treatment of human capital. Broader interpretation of human capital including besides educational characteristics, a more various range of indicators helps to resolve behavior paradoxes in the sphere of labor employment. Under this approach, human capital is not only professional skills and knowledge, but also some mental characteristics closely related to the norms of national culture. The study of this problem was based on the data of the all-Russian study carried out in 2010 by the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences on the methodology of G. Hofstede VSM94. The concept of human capital in this interpretation takes on a great explanatory power (giving the opportunity to view people’s behavior not only as a purely rational one), giving vent to the theory and practice of management. In the framework of this approach, the study of cultural norms provides an understanding that in the Russian labor culture, regular upgrading of skills (ie, renewal of human capital) is not a universally recognized value, because this kind of behavior largely depends on the existence of a laboring desire to personal success, desire and ability to self-presentation, etc. At the same time, the production culture of the Russian workers, reflected in the cultural indicators of G. Hofstede, fits well with the primordially Russian highly effective labor organization in the form of artels.

Keywordsworkers, comparative study, additional vocational education, training, general human capital, specific human capital, human potential, cultural characteristics, Hofstede, ethnometrics, artel labour organization, Russia
Publication date10.06.2018
Number of characters2462
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