Autonomy in work in different professional groups: trends of the decade (1998-2007)
Centre of studies of social structure, department of social mobility Institute of Sociology RAS Moscow, Russian Federation
Autonomy in work is linked in this paper to the issues of flexible employment (flexibility). In Russia's conditions, flexible employment, that is, its size, roles and institutionalization - is insufficiently researched so far. Meanwhile, Russian situation makes for actualizing not only resources and potentialities of the flexible forms of work organization, but also for character of this flexibility, its impact on various social processes, including evolving socio-professional structure.
My research of some trends in work autonomy as a characteristic of flexible employment in different professional/occupational groups has been made on the basis of the international monitoring survey "Social differences in contemporary Russia" (1999 and 2007 surveys have been made by the Institute of Sociology, Russian academy of sciences using comparable methods in an All-Russian representative sample). Three types of autonomy were analyzed (basing on self-estimates of workpeople) - in the contents of work, in its organization, and its full autonomy. Analysis thus made permitted to conclude that evolution of the autonomy types is changing during the recent ten years in characteristics of workpeople of different professional/occupational groups, as well as in conditions of their work and workplaces. Overall character of the changes in the structure of autonomy may be defined, as some traits demonstrate, as a transition from a state of crisis(1998) to a more regulated situation (2007) basically determined by the situation in the production units of government-owned property forms. Its various forms in different professional/occupational groups have been differentiated. Generally, full autonomy, a leading type during the 1990th, shrinks not only in numbers, but also qualitatively. In the meantime, autonomy in the work contents is on the increase. Autonomy in work organization remains stable in many parameters.