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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | MSc program in Management and International Business | 2016
Thesis number: 14348
Employee engagement drivers in Russia - A case study of perceptions in a western MNC
Author: Sistonen, Niina
Title: Employee engagement drivers in Russia - A case study of perceptions in a western MNC
Year: 2016  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: MSc program in Management and International Business
Index terms: johtaminen; management; organisaatio; organization; organisaatiokulttuuri; organizational culture; yrityskulttuuri; corporate culture; kansainväliset yhtiöt; international companies; henkilöstö; personnel; työntekijät; workers; sitoutuminen; commitment; työ; work; Venäjä; Russia
Pages: 106
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_14348.pdf pdf  size:2 MB (1603229)
Key terms: Culture, employee engagement, job demands, job resources, organizational commitment, work engagement
Abstract:
The main objective of this research was to achieve a better understanding of employee engagement in an organizational context in Russia. Moreover, the aim was to find out how the Russian cultural context affects the way employee engagement drivers are perceived, to provide recommendations on how to enhance engagement in different cultural contexts.

The theoretical framework of this study rests on an idea that drivers of employee engagement consist of job resources (positively valued aspects of the job) and job demands (negatively valued aspects of the job) stemming from the task, organization of work, organization, interpersonal and social relations and the employees themselves. The proposition is that because cultural values guide attitudes related to resources and demands, employees tend to perceive these drivers of employee engagement differently, according to their potential to promote learning, personal growth and goal attainment within that particular environment. Thus, the extent to which employees experience different types of engagement is also likely to be influenced by cultural values.

To achieve a coherent view of employee engagement drivers within Russian business environment, the activities and processes used to create and support employee engagement were studied from employee perspective in one subsidiary of a Finland-based multinational in Russia. The results from a corporate employee engagement survey were examined to map out how different level resources were perceived. In-depth interviews with employees were then conducted to study the demand side of the phenomenon. Finally, to provide a localized explanation for why different resources were perceived as they were, all results were discussed in the light of the European Social Survey results describing cultural context in Russia.

Analysis of the data revealed that Russian employees perceived interpersonal and social relations resources most positively, followed by personal and task level resources, whereas the organization level resources were perceived least favourably. Most of these findings related systematically and in theoretically meaningful ways to the ESS results and were further supported by the results of qualitative interviews with the company representatives, implying that Russian employees are likely to be highly engaged to their group, whereas they are less likely to be engaged to their work, task and organization respectively. However, it was also found that organizational values and societal level expectations play a role in how willing people are to engage themselves. Moreover, because people are likely to vary in their ability to mobilize resources in a value generating way, there are likely to be individual differences in the experience of engagement. Thus, the findings indicate that although a company can make a wide variety of resources available for employees, not all of them will be perceived of equal importance in all countries by all employees.

In conclusion, the findings illustrate that although values play an important part in the experience of employee engagement by affecting the way different job resources and job demands are perceived in Russia, organizational, societal and personal aspects also play a role in the experience of engagement. Therefore, international organizations planning interventions to improve engagement levels should focus on finding practices that are perceived as useful and practical within the particular business environment they are used in.
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