Motivating Russian Workers: Analysis of Age and Gender Differences

William Davidson Institute Working Paper No. 466

37 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2002

Date Written: February 2002


What motivates Russians to work? This paper utilizes survey data collected in May/June 2000 from 1200 employees in three regions of Russia to analyze the gender and generational differences in factors influencing motivation to work. Five main results emerge. First, Russians are not significantly different from their counterparts in the United States in terms of what is important to them at their place of work. Organizational commitment, however, emerges as only weakly positive among Russian workers; among managers the signal is much stronger. Second, there is little confusion on the part of managers regarding what is important to their workers. Managers' only mistake was to think workers valued their praise. Third, Russian workers have very low expectations of receiving any reward which they desire. This result, similar to results generated by American workers in the mid-1980s, is especially strong among the women and the older generation of workers participating in this survey. Fourth, gender differences involve the relative importance of particular motivators rather than differences in the ranking of motivators from most important to least important. That is, the Russian women participating in this project tended to express stronger feelings toward each of the motivators than the men, but the women did not rank order the motivators any differently than the men. Fifth, in many instances, generational differences disappeared when work experience was held constant. Age was only significant when expectation of receiving a particular reward was involved.

Keywords: Russia, motivation, gender, transition

JEL Classification: J28, P23

Suggested Citation

Linz, Susan J., Motivating Russian Workers: Analysis of Age and Gender Differences (February 2002). William Davidson Institute Working Paper No. 466, Available at SSRN: or

Susan J. Linz (Contact Author)

Michigan State University ( email )

Department of Economics
110 Marshall Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824
United States
(517) 353-7280 (Phone)
(517) 432-1068 (Fax)

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