The article demonstrates that crimes that come to the attention of the criminal police have varying worth in the eyes of Russian policemen and, consequently, attract unequal efforts. The worth of crimes is closely related to the criteria for evaluation of police performance. The data derived from 12 in-depth interviews with Russian police officers, nine indepth interviews with senior students of Moscow University of Russian Interior Ministry who are undergoing practice within police departments, and online discussions within the police community show that policemen in Russia made their practical decisions while balancing between multiple orders of worth. The theoretical framework of data interpretation is represented by symbiosis theories of valuations and the institutional logics approach. Operationalized as a set of cultural rules and expectations defining legitimate grounds for assessing and determining what rational behavior in a given organizational context really is, the concept of institutional logics stresses the interrelations between value-oriented and material dimensions of social action but allows one to stress the hierarchy and constant competition between various orders of worth in an organization. Four institutional logics — state, clan, quasi-market, and professional — are empirically identified. Each of them brings its own order of worth to the police organizational environment. Crimes in the eyes of the police always have a price — expressed in either “checkmarks,” points of recognition by the boss or colleagues, or money. The data suggest that, despite the hierarchy between the orders of (crimes’) worth within the police system as a whole, in each case, institutional logics and criteria of worth related to them compete with each other. Depending on the characteristics of the criminal case and the situation in the police department at a given moment, the competition between various orders of worth is resolved by policemen in different ways. The results of the study shed light on the functioning of police discretion and help to accentuate the dysfunctional side of police reform in Russia.
The second half of the XX century was marked by a dramatic change in the information sector of the economy, which led to the serious transformation in traditional labor relations. There have appeared new forms of mass employment such as freelance and telejob. However in Russia this subject has not been studied yet while there is a large number of relevant empirical and theoretical studies carried out in the developed countries The paper presents a review of Western quantitative studies devoted to freelance and conducted since the beginning of the 2000s. The following issues are reflected upon: elaboration of new terminology, cross-country freelance statistics, advantages and disadvantages of freelance, motivation of freelancers, structure of work process; relations between freelancers and their customers; and professional communities of freelancers.
The presented book review is devoted to “Otkhodniks” by Plusnin Ju., Zausaeva Ya., Zhidkevich N., Pozanenko A. (editor — S. Kordonsky). Otkhodnichestvo is a type of labor migration implying a scenario in which an adult, able-bodied family member temporarily leaves home to seek work in another area. Otkhodnichestvo has a long history in Russia but a new wave of its mass dissemination appeared in recent decades. The reviewed book defines a concept of otkhodnichestvo, considers what similarities and dissimilarities there are between this phenomenon and other forms of labor migration (i.e. jobbers, rotation workers, and temporary cross-border migrants). It reveals the otkhodniks’ motivation and economic patterns, describes typical social and demographic characteristics of contemporary wandering workers, evaluates otkhodniks’ cultural and social impact on local their community’s everyday life, etc. The book is based on a series of fieldwork studies conducted by the authors in small Russian towns over the last four years. In the review Barsukova discusses her impressions of the book, outlining its unusual genre. One uncontestable advantage of the book is an ethnographic material allowing readers to become immersed in all details of otkhodnik life. Otkhodniks usually come from small rural towns. They are forced to leave their homes to seek jobs in other areas because there are no opportunities for them to earn money in their permanent place of residence. Moreover, a key driver of the discussed form of labor migration is the otkhodniks’ aspiration to provide normal living conditions for their family members. The book review author highlights that otkhdoniks should be discussed not just in terms of their informal employment, the context of family relationship transformation should also be taken seriously into account.
The authors seek to find a structural basis for the success of collectively executed projects. Here they continue to use previously elaborated concepts of structural folding and creative tension, but they go on to advance their approach by including the cognitive variables in the analysis instead of merely focusing on social structure. In this article, they examine the sociological factors that explain why some creative teams are able to produce game changers— cultural products that stand out as distinctive while also being critically recognized as outstanding. The authors build on work pointing to structural folding— the network property of a cohesive group whose membership overlaps with that of another cohesive group. They hypothesize that the effects of structural folding on game-changing success are especially strong when overlapping groups are cognitively distant. Measuring social distance separately from cognitive distance and distinctiveness independently from critical acclaim, the authors test their hypothesis about structural folding and cognitive diversity by analyzing team reassembly for 12422 video games and the career histories of 139727 video game developers. When combined with cognitive distance, structural folding channels and mobilizes a productive tension of rules, roles, and codes that promotes successful innovation. In addition to serving as pipes and prisms, network ties are also the source of tools and tensions.
Many companies demonstrate a low level of corporate responsiveness to environmental safety issues. The existing literature indicates egoistic behavior of companies as the main cause. However, these conclusions are based on cases from the developed countries. What determines the low corporate responsiveness to environmental safety in developing and transition economies, for which the very concept of environmental business responsibility is new? Responding to this question, this paper explores the experience of a large Russian oil company in ensuring environmental safety in the development of an oil field located in Russia . Data were collected from the documented sources of information and 15 in-depth interviews with managers who make decisions on the environmental safety of the project as well as with external experts who cooperate with this company in the field of environmental safety. The study showed that the low responsiveness to environmental safety of Russian companies is not due to their selfish behavior, as it is suggested in the existing literature, but due to the illiteracy of their top managers and their lack of understanding of environmental safety issues. Following the approach of Richard Whitley, the author explains this illiteracy as a cognitive derivative of the national business system. The author shows that illiteracy of top managers regarding environmental issues is backed by the Russian culture, education, financial, and political systems. A theoretical explanation is offered for how environmental irresponsibility is formed within a context where the very concept of environmental business responsibility is new. Governmental intervention in decision-making on environmental safety issues and the activities of regulatory authorities are discussed.