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Job Preferences in Comparative Perspective 1989-2015: A Multi-Dimensional Evaluation of Individual and Contextual Influences
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
2018 (English)In: International Journal of Sociology, ISSN 0020-7659, E-ISSN 1557-9336, Vol. 48, no 2, p. 142-169Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article aims to provide a comparative assessment of work values across countries as well as over time. Differences and similarities in job preferences for eight central value dimensions are examined across nineteen countries between 1989 and 2015, made possible by four survey rounds from the International Social Survey, Work Orientation modules. Analyses of how extrinsic and intrinsic work values are related to individual and contextual factors are guided by contrasting theoretical approaches—modernization theory and a welfare-state institutional perspective. Four main results are reported. First, secure and interesting jobs are the most preferred job qualities, universally important to nearly all employees throughout all survey years. Second, values are markedly stable over time, but vary more across countries. Third, large majorities simultaneously value work autonomy, high income, advancement opportunities, jobs perceived as useful to society or helpful to others, indicating how individuals generally, are both intrinsically and extrinsically oriented toward work, with some gendered differences. Fourth partly in support of welfare-state institutional expectations, work values differ across countries mostly in relation to economic equality rather than economic development, so that both extrinsic and intrinsic work values are more important in more unequal societies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 48, no 2, p. 142-169
Keywords [en]
Job preferences, work values, job quality, comparative, extrinsic, intrinsic
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-155287DOI: 10.1080/00207659.2018.1446118ISI: 000438388700004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-155287DiVA, id: diva2:1198428
Available from: 2018-04-17 Created: 2018-04-17 Last updated: 2018-08-20Bibliographically approved

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Esser, IngridLindh, Arvid
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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
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  • de-DE
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