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The evolution of post-Soviet labour processes: A case study of the hollowing out of paternalism in Moldova

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Matthew GortonORCiD


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During the Soviet era, directors and workers derived mutual benefits from concealing true capacity, hoarding labour and just fulfilling an enterprise's plan. In an environment of labour shortages and guaranteed markets, managers used informal mechanisms to reward and retain good workers given the absence of unemployment and meaningful wage differentials as mechanisms to discipline workers. This cultivated a paternalistic set of relations between enterprise managers and workers, which, it is argued, are being hollowed out in the post-communist era. This is explored in a case study of evolving labour relations in Moldova. Casualization of the workforce has been used as a buffer against greater instability in both the supply of raw materials and demand. Such a strategy has become feasible as enterprises, such as the case-study firm, now have a large pool of external surplus labour on which they can draw. However, paternalism has not been hollowed out completely but rather a split-level realignment is identified. © 2004 Taylor & Francis Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gorton M, Ignat G, White J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Human Resource Management

Year: 2004

Volume: 15

Issue: 7

Pages: 1249-1261

ISSN (print): 0958-5192

ISSN (electronic): 1466-4399

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/0958519042000238437


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