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Regular version of the site

Article

Better leadership, higher work engagement? Comparative study on Finnish and Russian private sector employees

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy. 2018. Vol. 38. No. 11/12. P. 922-943.
Saari T., Melin H., Balabanova E. S., Efendiev A.

Purpose – This paper focuses on the relationship between leadership and work engagement (WE) in Finnish
and Russian private sector organizations. The purpose of this paper is to analyze how Finland and Russia
differ in the level of WE; in the level of satisfaction with leadership and in specific components of leadership
as most important antecedents for WE.
Design/methodology/approach – The empirical analysis of this study is based on survey data collected in
Finland and Russia. The analysis focuses on 1,570 Finnish and 490 Russian private sector, full-time
employees with permanent contracts, who have no managerial responsibilities. The data are analyzed using
descriptive methods and binary logistic regression analysis.
Findings – The results show, first, that both satisfaction of leadership and WE are higher in Finland than in
Russia. Second, WE in Finland is facilitated by nearly all components of leadership – both materialistic- and
relationship-based – while in RussiaWE is predicted by rewarding good performers and such relationship-based
practices as feedback, delegating responsibility, discussing work matters, and building trust. Contrary to the
hypothesis, such materialistic-based components as providing equal treatment turned out to be insignificant for
WE in Russia.
Practical implications – Organizations should invest in leadership quality to enhance WE and thus, to get
a competitive advantage.
Originality/value – This study adds to the limited comparative research on WE and its predictors.