Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to extend Handel's intrinsic and extrinsic framework for understanding job characteristics and job satisfaction to the worker experience in socialist and post‐socialist Hungary. Design/methodology/approach – Non‐panel longitudinal data from the International Social Survey Program (work orientations I and II: 1989 and 1997 – survey questions on job characteristics and job quality) are used to examine the changing job quality and job satisfaction determinants in socialist and post‐socialist Hungary. Findings – Descriptive statistics and regression analysis show that there are many significant changes in the intrinsic and extrinsic job characteristics and perceived job satisfaction of Hungarian workers from 1989 to 1997. Research limitations/implications – The main limitations of this research are that the key variables are subjective single‐item indicators; the non‐panel longitudinal nature of the data means the direction of causality among the variables examined cannot be tested specifically; and some variables of interest and other important control variables cannot be included in the analysis, as data were not available for both waves of the survey. Practical implications – Since worker job satisfaction impacts firm performance and various measures of worker well‐being, firms (regardless of economic sector or private/public status) need to be cognizant of these differences and unique challenges facing Hungarian workers and work to tailor management philosophy and policy to create a unique work atmosphere that will benefit the interests of both the employer and the employee. Originality/value – The main contribution of this paper is the analysis of changes in intrinsic and extrinsic job characteristics in Hungary, in light of the sweeping political and economic changes that accompanied the transition from a socialist state to a post‐socialist regime.
International Journal of Social Economics – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 2010
Keywords: Globalization; Socialist economies; Job satisfaction; Hungary
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