Client satisfaction is a critical element that equally affects firms’ competitiveness in manufacturing and service industries. The competitiveness is highly dependent on the mediating role that client satisfaction plays on consumers’ loyalty, and this is especially relevant in the turbulent periods lived after the financial crisis of 2008. A simple glimpse at the growing number of publications on client satisfaction shows the relevance of the topic. The aim of this paper is to analyze the evolution of articles published by Russian and non-Russian authors to see whether the experience of the former Soviet Union autocracy and the transition from this regime to market economy has played a significant role explaining the differences in approaches and topics under analysis as well as the rate of convergence between these two once separating worlds. The analysis is based on a systematic literature review of a first set of 1685 articles on client satisfaction in the Scopus and eLIBRARY databases. A further step based on only 200 relevant articles is made to find that the breach between these two worlds has been reduced, but there are still some differences regarding the social and economic components of the relevant literature. Some avenues for the future research that can advance a better understanding on the client satisfaction and the effects on the firms’ competitiveness after the existing new political agenda are briefly introduced.
The Uzbek Cotton Affair has been in the post-Stalin USSR. Preoccupied by the dying Soviet Union and presaged its end.
Current predictive models of collective action have devoted little attention to personal values, such as morals or ideology. The present research addresses this issue by incorporating a new axiological path in a novel predictive model of collective action, named AICAM. The axiological path is formed by two constructs: ideology and moral obligation. The model has been tested for real normative participation (Study 1) and intentional non-normative participation (Study 2). The sample for Study 1 included 531 randomly selected demonstrators and non-demonstrators at the time of a protest that took place in Madrid, May 2017. Study 2 comprised 607 randomly selected participants who filled out an online questionnaire. Structural equation modelling analysis was performed in order to examine the fit and predictive power of the model. Results show that the model is a good fit in both studies. It has also been observed that the new model entails a significant addition of overall effect size when compared with alternative models, including SIMCA. The present research contributes to the literature of collective action by unearthing a new, independent path towards collective action that is nonetheless compatible with previous motives. Implications for future research are discussed, mainly stressing the need to include moral and ideological motives in the study of collective action engagement.
Chayanov A.V. On the Agrarian Question. Translated from: Chayanov A.V. What is the Agrarian Question? Moscow: Joint-stock company “Universal Library”, 1917. 63 p. (League for Agrarian Reforms)
Russia’s fertility rate jumped after 2007, when new state measures were introduced to support families with children. This article analyzes the structure of this increase and factors that have contributed to a growth in the fertility rate. In 2007, the greatest gains were made in terms of second and subsequent births, while the fertility rate for first births has remained virtually unchanged. The effectiveness of demographic policy measures taken since early 2007 in regard to the fertility rate can be evaluated on the basis of statistical calculations as an additional amount of 0.259 of the total fertility rate, which amounts to 35.4 percent for second and subsequent births and 17.1 percent for all births. Thus, there are grounds to speak about positive shifts in fertility rate indicators not just for hypothetical generations, but also for real generations.
We investigate the consequences of excessive international debt overhang as they relate to both debtor and creditor countries. In particular, we assess the impact of monetary policy on financial stability and how it can be used to smooth borrowers, as well as creditors, consumption over the business cycle. Based on [Goodhart, Peiris, Tsomocos, 2018], we establish that an independent countercyclical monetary policy, that contracts liquidity whenever debt grows whereas it expands it when default rises, reduces volatility of consumption. In effect, monetary policy provides an extra degree of freedom to the policymaker. We implement our approach to the Czech and Eurozone area economies during the 1990s. In our model, we introduce endogenous default ά la [Shubik, Wilson, 1977], whereby debtors incur a welfare cost in renegotiating their contractual debt obligations that is commensurate to the level of default. However, this cost depends explicitly on the business cycle and it should be countercyclical. Hence, contractionary monetary policy reduces the volume of trade and efficiency, thus increasing default. This occurs as the default cost increases the associated default accelerator channel engenders higher default rates. On the other hand, lower interest rates increase trade efficiency and, consequently, reduce the amplitude of the business cycle and benefit financial stability. In sum, the appropriate design of monetary policy complements financial stability policy. The modeling of endogenous default allows us to study the interaction of monetary and macroprudential policy.
Do voters punish governments more severely during international economic crises or do they discount exogenous shocks as they recognize the government’s limited “room of manoeuvre”? The current literature provides conflicting answers to this question. This study argues that in such contexts citizens’ economic perceptions are less likely to predict their sanctioning behavior but that, nonetheless, governments experience a higher cost of ruling. We show that in the paradigmatic case of Italy, government popularity during the Great Recession, while being hardly explained by economic evaluations, suffers a stronger decline as a function of time in office. We account for this increased cost of ruling by economic policy debates and other political events, such as cabinet crises and large-scale scandals.
Given the growing dissatisfaction of international academic communities within the social and humanistic sciences, with their rigid and counter-productive self-referential practices of intra-disciplinary communication, the integrative and cross-disciplinary attempt by Mangone is eminently relevant. For sociologists elaborating on Pitirim Sorokin’s ideas, it may seem questionable that his vast intellectual heritage can serve as a proper foundation for promoting the arguably “new science” of Cultural Psychology. However, instead of using a single disciplinary perspective (sociology or cultural psychology), Mangone succeeds in persuading the reader to look at Sorokin from different angles—that of the dialogue between different disciplines as sociology and cultural psychology.
The newsbreak for writing this article was a kind of jubilee: 25 years ago, in 1992, a conference in Rio de Janeiro adopted the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This event became the first in a series of follow-up conferences and documents aimed primarily at limiting carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere to counter global warming. The author is an active advocate of the concept of the anthropogenic impact on climate as a leading factor in climate change. He stresses the positive potential of international agreements in this field and a new energy-environmental paradigm, which implies the development of low-carbon industry and transition to renewable energy sources and the “green” economy.
Guest’s satisfaction in the hotel industry cannot be easily measured because these constructs depend on multiple intangible attributes that can be evaluated very differently by distinct market segments. In this paper, the satisfaction experienced by different market segments based on age and gender is evaluated by the use of a hybrid method built from the fuzzy logic and optimal solutions. Fuzzy set theory has become a standard technique to resolve in part the uncertain information provided by guests. The results show that age and gender affect the satisfaction experienced by the hotel guests, and that not all the attributes are equally important when satisfaction is studied. The analysis of the elasticities show that the guest satisfaction is quite inelastic with respect to the 32 attributes included in the study, but the elasticity is higher for these four attributes: (1) welcome gifts in the room; (2) furniture/decoration in restaurants and bars; (3) furniture/decoration in public areas; and (4) welcome gifts in the bathroom.
This article contributes to denationalizing Bourdieu’s field theory by analysing the relationship between a regional news media field, the state and transnational influences. The article seeks to answer the question of how a state can impose limits on the autonomy of the news media field during political transition. Field theory is applied to changes that have taken place in Crimean news media since Russia’s annexation of the peninsula in 2014. Drawing on narrative interviews with journalists who worked in Crimea in 2012–17, expert interviews, and secondary sources, I demonstrate how Crimea’s news media field went from being dominated by varied Ukrainian private news media owners to becoming dominated by the Russian state. I show that states can employ direct measures such as anti‐press violence and ownership appropriation of news media outlets in order to increase concentration of state media ownership. In addition, states can reallocate capital in the news media field, disenfranchising some journalists and outlets while favouring others. The adaptive strategies of individual journalists, who, upon losing capital, can sometimes relocate or leave their jobs, also changes the composition of news media fields. Departing from a common view of social spaces as bounded within nation‐states, I examine how the news media field of Crimea has been shaped by both transnational influences, and by the direct imposition of Russian state power through a reconstitution of national borders.
This article (one of a series of two articles) analyzes specific features of income stratification in Russia in comparison with other countries (Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria, Venezuela, Mexico, China) based on data from several nationwide surveys. It demonstrates that the income stratification model, which refers average per capita incomes at a specific household to the median income in a country, captures well the peculiarities involved in different models of society. It uses the data of an international comparative study, International Social Survey Programme (ISSP), to show that the Russian income stratification model is typical of Europe. At the same time, Russia is in-between Europe and the former Third World in terms of the extent of income inequalities.
To illustrate the role of organizations of lawyers in social changes we analyze the process of transforming legal and socio-political institutions in Russia over the past 30 years.We combine the theory of legal mobilization with the concept of violence and social orders proposed by North, Wallis and Weingast to describe the general logic of this process. Russian case shows that exogenous shocks stimulate collective action of criminal defence lawyers which, in turn, compel the government to respond. The state can promote the passivity of the legal community and stop legal mobilization by providing certain preferences for the profession. Even though in the 2000s, Russia took the path of destroying legal institutions, legal profession in certain circumstances could again act as an agent of social change. We conclude that the efficiency of collective action depends on the institutional capacity of legal association and on the position of the professional elite standing at its head.
The stereotype content model (SCM), originating in the United States and generalized across nearly 50 countries, has yet to address ethnic relations in one of the world’s most influential nations. Russia and the United States are somewhat alike (large, powerful, immigrant-receiving), but differ in other ways relevant to intergroup images (culture, religions, ideology, and history). Russian ethnic stereotypes are understudied, but significant for theoretical breadth and practical politics. This research tested the SCM on ethnic stereotypes in a Russian sample (N = 1115). Study 1 (N = 438) produced an SCM map of the sixty most numerous domestic ethnic groups (both ethnic minorities and immigrants). Four clusters occupied the SCM warmth-by-competence space. Study 2 (N = 677) compared approaches to ethnic stereotypes in terms of status and competition, cultural distance, perceived region, and four intergroup threats. Using the same Study 1 groups, the Russian SCM map showed correlated warmth and competence, with few ambivalent stereotypes. As the SCM predicts, status predicted competence, and competition negatively predicted warmth. Beyond the SCM, status and property threat both were robust antecedents for both competence and warmth for all groups. Besides competition, cultural distance also negatively predicted warmth for all groups. The role of the other antecedents, as expected, varied from group to group. To examine relative impact, a network analysis demonstrated that status, competition, and property threat centrally influence many other variables in the networks. The SCM, along with antecedents from other models, describes Russian ethnic-group images. This research contributes: (1) a comparison of established approaches to ethnic stereotypes (from acculturation and intergroup relations) showing the stability of the main SCM predictions; (2) network structures of the multivariate dependencies of the considered variables; (3) systematically cataloged images of ethnic groups in Russia for further comparisons, illuminating the Russian historical, societal, and interethnic context.
In 1976 Richard Dawkins coined the term meme as a way to metaphorically project bio-evolutionary principles upon the processes of cultural and social development. The works of Dawkins and of some other enthusiasts had contributed to a rise in popularity of the concept of memetics ("study of memes"), but the interest to this new field started to decline quite soon. The conceptual apparatus of memetics was based on a number of quasi-biological terms, but the emerging discipline failed to go beyond those initial metaphors. This article is an attempt to rebuild the toolkit of memetics with the help of the more fundamental concepts taken from semiotics and to propose a synthetic conceptual framework connecting genetics and memetics, in which semiotics is used as the transdisciplinary methodology for both disciplines. The concept of sign is used as the meta-lingual equivalent for both the concepts of gene and meme. In the most general understanding, sign is a thing which stands for another thing. In genetics this translates into gene that is a section of DNA that stands for the algorithm of how a particular biomolecule is built. In memetics, the similar principle works in meme that is a thing that stands for the rules of how a particular cultural practice is performed.
The research in question is based on the gender schema theory by Sandra Bem. The purpose of the research is to study male narrative features in the context of the norms of male socialization. The aim of the research under consideration is a comparative analysis of male and female autobiographies features, which are not confined to male and female speech characteristics and reflect revision of gender socialization norms by the subject. With the help of biographical interview method autobiographies of women aged 31 to 72 (N= 34) and men aged from 23 to 69 (N= 36) living in provincial Russian towns were transcribed and contrasted. The autobiographies underwent categorial analysis procedure conducted by experts; the obtained categorial matrices were processed with the use of mathematical methods of statistics. Considerable attention was given to men’s life stories during the process of analysis. Quantitative data analysis allowed to reconstruct the structure of men’s and women’s autobiographies, which reflected gender socialization norms. The obtained algorithm, being geared towards the search for gender markers in the autobiographies, identified gender-specific markers in men’s texts whereas the female ones were retrieved owing to non-specific categories. This allowed to conclude that the modern Russian male socialization practices are more traditional. According to the results of the research, the categorial structure of autobiographical texts in men and in women is similar in key events and specific to each gender group at the same time. As far as gender normativity is concerned, male stories are more frequent to contain the gender norms abidance markers. Female stories are more individualized and fall into different scenarios (gender-standardized and non-standard).
Mixed tenure is the predominant development and regeneration strategy and is a key component of UK housing and urban policy. It is purported to provide wide-ranging social, environmental and economic benefits to residents. While there is a large literature on mixed tenure, policy makers are likely to rely on reviews and summaries of the evidence rather than primary studies. But can they rely on such reviews? Using systematic review methods this paper critically appraises recent reviews for the evidence that mixed tenure policies and strategies have achieved any of these expected benefits. Of the six UK reviews of primary studies, most drew on less than half the available primary studies, none provided a critical appraisal of individual studies and made no comment on conflicting evidence between and within studies. While the reviews gave indications of the deficiencies of the evidence base, rather than focus on the implications of these deficiencies, four of the six reviews emphasised the positive effects of tenure mix.
We discuss the current socio-cultural situation surrounding parenthood on the basis of an extensive literature review. A distinction is drawn between the constructs of “parenthood” as a social role and “parenting” as a process of raising children. We describe the main social trends: Modern parenthood is analyzed and problematized in connection with the specific features of the modern challenges faced by young educated parents. These trends include the following: the disappearance of understandable models of how to raise children in a family that were taught to parents when they were themselves children, the explosion in the number of ways in which a family can be raised, and a growing number of parenting products and services. All of these factors are symptoms of the decline of “natural” parenting and its replacement by a set of consciously planned strategies. The article shows that as educated members of the population refer to expert knowledge to guide them as parents, it gives rise to a new level of uncertainty due to the fact that the recommendations that are given are inconsistent with each other. A discussion of the transformations in family and upbringing practices shows that they have evolved from a child-centric model to an adult-centric one. Thus, we provide supporting evidence for the conclusion that modern parents raise children against the backdrop of many (perceived and unconscious) contradictions, including, in particular, the one between the growing importance placed on career and life success and the continuing value placed on parenthood, which cannot but affect the parent’s experiences. The growing interest in the study of parental identity and self-efficacy represents a promising research area.
Existing research on how the involvement of civil society actors improves EU democratic legitimacy produces controversial results. This is the outcome of a top-down analytical strategy. Scholars regularly gauge partnership practices against different concepts of legitimacy, but rarely ask how actors themselves perceive and construct partnership, let alone how these understandings relate to existing concepts of legitimacy. Utilising a bottom-up sociological perspective, this article examines how actors in four central and eastern EU member states understand the partnership principle for European Structural and Investment Funds and how these understandings relate to different conceptualisations of legitimacy. A reconstruction of actors' normative arguments shows that representatives of three groups (state officials, civil society organisations and social partners) prioritise different legitimacy effects which trigger contestation about the proper formats of partnership. While state officials focus on input legitimacy, civil society organisations insist on throughput and social partners emphasise output legitimacy. Variation across countries and within groups of actors further complicates this picture. This has implications for our understanding of Europeanization and the role of European civil society. © 2018 University Association for Contemporary European Studies.