Attitudes and Performance: An Analysis of Russian Workers

41 Pages Posted: 26 May 2005

See all articles by Susan J. Linz

Susan J. Linz

Michigan State University

Anastasia Semykina

Michigan State University

Date Written: March 2005


This paper investigates the relationship between locus of control and performance among Russian employees, using survey data collected at 28 workplaces in 2002 in Taganrog and at 47 workplaces in 2003 in Ekaterinburg. We develop a measure that allows us to categorize the Russian employees participating in our survey as exhibiting an internal or external locus of control. We then assess the extent to which there are significant differences between "internals" and "externals" in work-related attitudes that may affect performance. In particular, we focus on (1) attitudes about outcomes associated with hard work, (2) level of job satisfaction, (3) expectation of receiving a desired reward, and (4) loyalty to and involvement with one's organization. In each case we identify where gender and generational differences emerge. Our main objective is to determine whether Russian employees who exhibit an internal locus of control perform better than employees with an external locus of control. Our performance measures include earnings, expected promotions, and assessments of the quantity and quality of work in comparison to others at the same organization doing a similar job. Controlling for a variety of worker characteristics, we find that (1)individuals who exhibit an internal locus of control perform better, but this result is not always statistically significant; (2) even among "internals," women earn significantly less than men and have a much lower expectation of promotion; (3) even among "internals," experience with unemployment has a negative influence on performance.

Keywords: Locus of control, Russia, motivation, performance, gender

JEL Classification: P23, J24

Suggested Citation

Linz, Susan J. and Semykina, Anastasia, Attitudes and Performance: An Analysis of Russian Workers (March 2005). Available at SSRN: or

Susan J. Linz (Contact Author)

Michigan State University ( email )

Department of Economics
110 Marshall Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824
United States
(517) 353-7280 (Phone)
(517) 432-1068 (Fax)

Anastasia Semykina

Michigan State University ( email )

Agriculture Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824-1122
United States

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