Change of priorities? Job expectations of retail workers in the mirror of Internet communications


Sorokina M.V.

Dr. Sci. (Еc.), Prof. of Piter the Great St. Petersburg Politechnical University skammi@mail.ru

DOI: 10.7868/S0132162518050094
ID of the Article:


For citation:

Sorokina M.V. Change of priorities? Job expectations of retail workers in the mirror of Internet communications. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2018. No 5. P. 99-109




Abstract

The aim of this paper is to examine the job expectations of the retail workers whose jobs, normally, do not require a long previous vocational education and training. The internet texts in which retail workers characterize their jobs are analyzed. While the study does not represent the opinions of all retail workers, it characterizes the views of the most active ones. Studying these views is of prime importance because of their strong influence on the job’s images. Such approach, being focused both on analyzing the work everyday life and employers – employees relations bridges the ‘first ’and the ‘third’ sociology. The concepts of the work values and the job expectations are distinguished. The latter is defined as the former corrected by the workers’ views on the labour market’s realities. The various job expectations are classified, the degree of their realization is measured. The results obtained evidence that the working conditions are mentioned more frequently than the salary in the internet texts of the retail workers. In addition, the retail workers are unsatisfied by their working conditions more often than by salaries. This conclusion contrasts with supreme priority of the salary among work values identified in other studies. It also challenges the commonplace idea of the salary’s undeniable priority among the job expectations of the semi-skilled workers. Hypothesis of intergenerational shift in the work values toward the ‘post-materialist’ ones is used to explain this disagreement. The vital role of informational asymmetry is emphasized. Working conditions are described by employers with less accuracy than salaries, this results in the higher rate of the worker’s unsatisfied expectations. It is concluded that the employers should pay more attention to the working conditions and improve the accuracy of the job descriptions placed in internet.


Keywords
work everyday life; job expectations; labour values; internet communications; retail; working conditions; informational asymmetry; intergenerational value change

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