9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN19 Sociology of Professions

2009-09-05 09:00:00 2009-09-05 10:30:00 Saturday, 5 September 09:00 - 10:30 Professional Knowledge and Learning Building I, Auditório 2

The role of the Russian business in formation and development of a new professional model (an industrial focus)

After a period of the radical market and institutional re-estimation of occupations and professions in 1990-es the former Soviet professional model based on the state regulation was mainly destroyed. The formation of a new one is going on under the active assistance of the business and in the absence or inactivity of the more 'natural' subjects as the state or professional associations are. The Russian business started to use the discourse of professionalism in order to strengthen the organizational control over employment. In external sphere the business spreads its influence by taking responsibility for formation of new occupational standards for employment and professional education with a consent of the state and half-consent of the universities. At the same time within everyday business practice and management during the last10-15 years one cannot notice significant qualitative upheavals in learning and development, in professional discretion enlargement or in professional participation in a decision-making process as well. The Russian business partially inherited the attitude to professionalism from the former Soviet epoch with its ideological tendency to erase the differences in social status of an engineer and a skilled manual worker and with a weakness of the human resource management functions. The contemporary data collected from companies show the lack of qualification return, the low expenses on learning and development, mainly 'technical' character of corporate professional training based on short-term technical requirements of the production rather than on strategic development of key competences and knowledges. Paraphrasing in a way S.Clarke's saying the question is raised whether this represents a distinctly Russian professional model or is merely a transitional stage of a decline of professionalism.
The report is based on results of a series of intensive case studies, on publications and working papers of the Russian business associations and on personal experience of the author in consulting projects for a number of the Russian companies engaged in industry and transport.