The article discusses the influence of economic entities of city-forming enterprises on the local labor market and on the socio-psychological well-being of the economically active population of a single-industry city under conditions of restructuring of production. Based on the studied theoretical concepts developed by Russian and foreign researchers, problems of transforming the socio-economic sphere in single-industry cities under conditions of restructuring of production have concluded that this sphere is formed directly by the city-forming enterprise, the level of development of which determines the level of social development of the single-industry city and its population. It is emphasized that the implementation of the restructuring of production based on complex innovative programs is slow and involves a number of problems. The article notes that the programs of city-forming enterprises are aimed at maximizing costs. At the same time, enterprises are guided by ambivalent principles, the consequences of which are negative for the labor market. The emergence of a new process as social pollution from the economic activity of enterprises has been revealed. It is noted that the negative impact is manifested in a decrease in the quality of life associated with damage to welfare and harm to the physical and socio-psychological well-being of labor resources because of the economic activity of the enterprise. In the absence of clearly developed criteria of negative impact on the social environment, the owners represent their adverse and destructive activities for society as the consequences of the global economic crisis.
At present the attention of researchers and practitioners of the management of territorial-economic complexes attract single-industry cities and mono-territories. Transformational changes showed that the social and labor sphere turned out to be the most sensitive and least adapted to the new economic realities. Mono-cities were particularly affected. In this regard, the issues of maintaining and improving the quality of the labor resources of cities under conditions of restructuring of a city-forming enterprise, which as a rule bears the economic and social burden, are of particular relevance. In the conditions of macroeconomic instability, integration into the world economy and low competitiveness of many city-forming enterprises on the world market, the main task for them is to obtain super-profits. At the same time, the issues of the adverse effects of economic entities on the well-being of labor resources, that is, the problem of social pollution and the problem of precarization of labor, which led to the transformation of labor resources, are not actually considered (Crouch, 2014).
The problem identified by the authors of the article poses the following tasks: to identify the extent to which residents of a single-industry have their positions and prospects in the local labor market; to study the level of satisfaction of the population with their place in the system of labor relations and to study the opinion of citizens on the degree of influence of city-forming and city-serving enterprises on the level of social and psychological well-being of the labor resources of a single-industry city; to reveal the level of precarization of labor relations in the city and at the city-forming enterprise in the conditions of restructuring of the city-forming enterprise
As part of the implementation of the “Concept 2020”, the main direction of the state’s development has become the transition to an innovative socially-oriented economy. To achieve this goal, the efforts of the state were aimed primarily at diversifying the economy, forming the investment attractiveness of the territories, and restructuring their production structure. This transition was long and rather difficult. As practice shows, this process is most difficult and destructive in single-industry cities.
Negative processes in single-industry cities are particularly acute in the labor market and labor resources of mono-territories. The desire of the city-forming enterprise to reduce labor costs and reduce social costs in these conditions leads to significant changes in the employment system, distorts social and labor relations and worsens the well-being of not only labor resources, but also other members of society, that is, in conditions of economic instability the town-forming enterprise is becoming a source of threats for both the local labor market and the population of the city. The transformation crisis has shown that the factors of viability and survival of single-industry towns are characterized by a complex of interrelated social and economic problems (Alpatov & Iakushina 2018).
In modern conditions, conditions of tough competition, as practice shows, the main task of enterprises is their sustainable development. Companies are interested in promoting their products as environmentally friendly, as it is now one of the most popular brands that bring stable profits. At the same time, most enterprises ignore the fact that many modern technologies and methods of personnel management and production optimization negatively affect workers and their well-being. Such behavior is called ambivalent, the essence of this behavior is social pollution and mono-cities suffer the most because the main economic entity in the city and the monopolist in the local labor market is the city-forming enterprise (Gafurova, 2016). The degree of development of the labor market and the situation with labor resources depends on its economic situation, this dependence is a key feature of company towns (Ispulova, 2010).
In modern conditions, the task of reducing the level of social pollution of single-industry cities from the economic activities of a city-forming enterprise becomes urgent. The close attention to the problem is explained by the complex situation prevailing in the majority of single-industry cities, their multiplicity and importance for the economy of our country.
Problems of socio-economic development of single-industry cities, issues of strategic management of mono-territories, problems of labor market regulation of mono-territories in crisis conditions are the subject of research in the works of I. Turgel, L. Zdorovtsova, G. Lapushinskaya, I. Samboretsky and others. But, domestic researchers in fact do not consider the problem of social pollution of single-industry towns, questions of socio-psychological well-being and issues of precautionary labor in single-industry cities remain little studied.
The negative effects of social pollution are more significant than physical pollution of the environment (Parsyukevich, 2013). Despite the deterioration of the physical and psychological state of workers, the destructive impact on personnel, modern business is not aware of these dangers and focuses on those aspects of sustainability that provide companies with advantages in obtaining fast financial results.
Analyzing the factors of social pollution, we can distinguish the following. The most important factor today is the policy of non-compliance with labor laws. Precarization in domestic enterprises is most often manifested in the use of atypical forms of employment, the use of toxic management technologies, the presence of toxic jobs (Gatti & Fedorova, 2014).
The complexity of the examination and determination of the level of social pollution and precarization of labor is the lack of a developed system of indicators for assessing the level of social pollution. As part of this study, toxic elements that pollute the social and labor sphere of a single-industry city and have a negative impact on its workforce were identified and analyzed using a sociological survey conducted in September 2017.
The object of sociological research was the population of the city of Magnitogorsk (Chelyabinsk region), employed at the enterprises of a single-industry city in various sectors of the economy. As part of the survey, two groups of respondents were identified: the economically active population of the city (N = 1,200) and the workers of the town-forming enterprise PJSC MMK (N = 135).
In the survey, the main and additional parameters of the study were set. First of all, determine what impact organizations have on their employees and what employees consider the cause of the deterioration of their socio-psychological situation.
The composition of the sample of respondents is presented in Figure
The age structure of the respondents showed that the smallest share of respondents belong to the age category over 60 years old, and the most economically active part of the population - people aged 35 to 50 years old made up 53% of the total number of respondents.
To assess the respondents' own position and prospects in the local labor market, various categories of workers were taken. In the categories of workers of the entire sample, specialists prevail (56.6%), department heads and service personnel are equally represented (9.2% each), the smallest group is represented by top managers (2.6%), there were no representatives among the respondents such a group as interns.
Specialists (96.74%) dominate among the surveyed residents of the single-industry city, and workers (36.42%) among the MMK employees. And the smallest share has the category of workers, who refer to themselves as service personnel (see table).
Analysis of the data suggests that the majority of respondents today have a full and permanent job, an equal number of respondents do not work anywhere and have the threat of dismissal (5.1%). A small number of respondents have temporary employment. The survey showed that the employment market is stable, the unemployment rate is low, which is one of the indicators of social stability in the city and indicates a fairly high level of socio-psychological well-being of labor resources.
The number of employees against the background of the threat of dismissal is significantly higher among the interviewed residents of the city, but at the same time also an insignificant part of the interviewed employees of the city-forming enterprise are under the threat of dismissal. At the same time, the most unfavorable sector of the economy in the context of the transformation crisis in the city of Magnitogorsk is the housing sector.
The sum of the answers to the second, third and fourth questions allows us to estimate the state of precarization of employment in the city of Magnitogorsk. For the group of employees of the town-forming enterprise, it is at the level of 10%, for the group of city residents at the level of 20.2%. These data indicate that the degree of confidence in their future and security among workers of a city-forming enterprise is greater than that of city residents and the degree of precarization of labor at a city-forming enterprise is two times less than in a city.
The next qualifying criterion that determines the degree of social pollution in the labor market is compliance with and proper enforcement of labor laws. The most important indicator is the registration of the employment relationship between the employee and the employer. A large part of the respondents noted that their relations were formalized strictly in accordance with the Labor Code of the Russian Federation by the employment contract at the main place of work (61.3%). One third of the respondents answered that they work under an employment contract with an employer - an individual. An equal number of respondents (2.7% each) answered that their relationship was formalized by an employment contract for seasonal work, by an employment contract for temporary work for a period of up to 2 months and not formalized. Employees work on the basis of an oral agreement with the employer. The smallest percentage of respondents noted part-time work on the basis of an employment contract. At the same time, as a survey has shown that employers, as a rule, observe and properly comply with the norms of labor legislation.
For such a factor of social pollution as a violation of labor laws, it was revealed that 14.1% of the total number of respondents suffered from illegal dismissal.
During the study, the reasons for dismissal from the last job were identified, the majority of respondents both in the first and in the second group of respondents noted that they were dismissed due to a reduction in the framework of the implementation of production optimization, and a sufficiently large number indicated the reason - work for urgent labor treaties. All these facts suggest that in practice, still used toxic methods of personnel management.
One third of the polled residents of the city (31.2%) and more than half of the employees of the MMK noted that they had actually worked in one enterprise for the rest of their lives (the majority of the respondents in both groups belong to the age group over 40). On the one hand, this situation is typical for single-industry cities, since, in the presence of a city-forming enterprise, a monopolist in the local labor market, the choice of the working-age population is limited. On the other hand, work at such a successful enterprise as MMK is prestigious, and employees value their place of work. Such a situation in the city and at the city-forming enterprise is a circumstance that forces the top management of the city-forming enterprise to take responsibility for ensuring the normal working conditions of their employees, as well as to provide assistance to the territory in which the enterprise operates.
To determine the level of use of toxic management technologies, respondents were asked what changes occurred in the personnel policy of the organization. One third of the respondents noted the hiring of new workers for a short period (from 1 to 6 months) and noted that these are usually incompetent employees with low qualifications. About a quarter of the respondents noted the withdrawal of some of the workers for early retirement (23.1%), considering these decisions to be unfounded and incorrect. Employees also had a negative attitude to such personnel changes as the withdrawal of some employees from their staff and the use of temporary or seasonal workers provided by other companies instead.
The survey data reflects the consequences of the current transformation processes in the system of social and labor relations. The desire of employers and owners of city-forming enterprises to optimize the number of employees through its reduction leads to an increase in workloads and an increase in the labor intensity of the remaining workers, which adversely affects workers and becomes one of the factors of workplace toxicity.
As part of determining the degree of toxicity of workplaces, it is necessary to study the elements and factors that make up the working environment. Some of these elements were asked to rate respondents. Respondents needed to identify factors - irritants in the workplace. The strongest irritant for 39% of respondents was the difficulty in combining work and personal life. More than a quarter of respondents as an irritant noted too high tension in their work, which causes chronic fatigue, irritability, and diseases. A quarter of respondents believe that they are hampered by a high level of stress in the workplace (24.7%).
Also irregular working hours create big problems for 15% of workers. Further, the following answers were of importance: unstable team, high competition between employees, negative managerial features, professional incompetence of the manager, lack of attention from the manager and other problems. At the same time, no one singled out such a factor as psychological pressure from colleagues. The survey data indicate that the most significant positions for employees are related to an insufficiently high-quality and effective organization management system.
As a result of a sociological survey, the introduction was confirmed that the organization has both positive and negative effects on its employees. More than a third of respondents said that the organization is the source of their well-being, allows them to meet various needs, while almost one in four noted that they constantly experience the negative impact of the organization, primarily on their physical and psychological health.
Purpose of the Study
Identify toxic elements that pollute the social and labor sphere and determine the degree of influence of the city-forming enterprise on the state of the local labor market and the social well-being of the labor resources of the single-industry city.
In carrying out the study, a sociological survey was conducted through questionnaires using a random sample. In the course of the study, general scientific methods, statistical methods, tabular and graphical methods, methods of factor and chronological analysis, analytical and comparative evaluation were applied.
The data obtained in the research process allow identifying the toxic elements of the system of social and labor relations in an organization that have a negative impact on the well-being of the labor resources of a single-industry city, and assess the prospects for the local labor market in the context of restructuring a city-forming enterprise.
The identified toxic elements of social and working life are indicators of assessing the level of social pollution from the economic activities of economic entities in single-industry cities under conditions of restructuring of production.
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29 March 2019
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Sociolinguistics, linguistics, semantics, discourse analysis, science, technology, society
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Balynskaya, N. R., Gafurova, V. M., Pischugina, O. S., & Nemtsev, V. N. (2019). Indicators For Assessing Level Of Social Pollution Of Labor Market. In D. K. Bataev (Ed.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 58. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 157-163). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.03.02.19