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

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

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


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.

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


Bessokirnaja G. P. (2012) Sociology and society: global challenges and regional developments. In: Proceedings of the IV Regular All-Russian Sociological Congress / RSS, ISRAS, AS RB, ISPRI Moscow: ROS [RSS]:1874–1882 URL: (accessed 30.03.2017). (In Russ.)

Bessokirnaja G. P. (2016) Researching labor motivation in post-reform Russia. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 2: 29–38. (In Russ.)

Bessokirnaja G. P. (2017) Has labour motivation changed in post-Soviet Russia? Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 1: 94–105. (In Russ.)

Dudina V. I. (2015) Sociological knowledge in the context of informational technologies development. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 6: 13–22. (In Russ.)

Inglhart R. (1997) Postmodernity: changing values and changing societies. POLIS. Politicheskie issledovanija [POLIS. Political Studies]. No. 4: 6–32. (In Russ.)

Magun V., Rudnev M. (2008). Life values of Russian population: the similarities and differences as compared with other European countries. Vestnik obshhestvennogo mnenija [Russian Public Opinion Herald]. No. 1(93): 33–58. (In Russ.)

Popov A. V. (2016) Salary as a tool of stimulation of the work activity. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 7: 40–47. (In Russ.)

Russian Statistical Yearbook. (2016). Rosstat. [Federal State Statistics Service] Moscow. (In Russ.)

Shtompka P. (2009) The focus on the everyday life. A new turn in sociology. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 8: 2–13. (In Russ.)

Sorokina M. V. (2017) Management in the trade. St. Petersburg: Piter. (In Russ.)

Strebkov D. O., Shevchuk A. V. (2017) Work values of the self-employment and organization employment. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 1: 81–93. (In Russ.)

Tatarova G.G, Bessokirnaja G. P. (2015) Identification with enterprise: classification of the workers and revealing the managed factors of the labour activity. URL: (accessed 1.04.2017). (In Russ.)

Tjurina I. O. (2013) What work Russians dream about. M. K. Gorshkov, R. Krumm, N. E. Tihonova (eds). What Russians dream about: ideal and reality. Moscow: Ves’ Mir.: 126–158. (In Russ.)

Toshhenko Zh.T. (2016) Meannig of life: an analysis from positions of sociology of life. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 11: 3–14. (In Russ.)

Trud i zanjatost’ v Rossii (2015) [Labour and Employment in Russia]: Stat. Sb. Rosstat [Federal State Statistics Service]. Moscow. (In Russ.)

Vroom V H. (1964) Work and motivation. New York: Wiley.

Zdravomyslov A. G., Yadov V. A. (2003) A Man and his Work in the Soviet Union Period and After that. Moscow: Aspekt Press. (In Russ.)

Content No 5, 2018