Precarious employment relations as a factor of social pollution

Alena E. Fyodorova, Varvara S. Katashinskikh, Zuzana A. Dvorakova


The paper discusses the assessment of precarious employment relations as one of the systemic factors of social pollution. The social pollution phenomenon in employment relations is caused by employers who use a strategy for the reduction of labour costs and toxic practices of human resource management. This paper presents the intermediate outcomes of a longitudinal study based on the methods of survey, involving workers of Russian companies in different sectors of economy. In 2014, authors conducted a pilot study in order to test the methodological tools for assessing social pollution in employment relations, which included assessing the degree of precarization. This pilot study also allowed the authors to verify the hypotheses of their research and to improve the tools for further application in the survey which was conducted in 2015 among the staff members of enterprises in the Sverdlovsk region. Thus, the authors have managed to identify the precarization-related toxic elements of employment relations in these enterprises, which damaged the physical health and psychosocial well-being of the employees. This study has also brought to light a number of current trends in the employment relations in the region. Although the research results are somewhat limited due to the fact that such observations should be made repeatedly over a long period of time, intermediary conclusions might also be of interest and could be used to search for ways of dealing with problems caused by the growing precarization on the level of individual enterprises as well as on the level of the whole region.


social pollution; precarization of employment; employment relations; precariat; toxic practices of human resource management; health at work; employees’ wellbeing; toxic working environment; toxic leadership; toxic workplace

Full Text:



Chekhonadskikh, M. Trudnosti perevoda: prekaritet v teorii i na praktike [Lost in translation: precarity in theory and practice]. Khudozhestvennyy zhurnal [Moscow art magazine]. Retrieved from:–80/chekhonadskih (date of access: 15.01.2015).

Macklem, K. (2005). The Toxic Workplace. Maclean’s, 118(5), 34–35.

Kusy, M. & Holloway, E. (2009). Toxic Workplace!: Managing Toxic Personalities and Their Systems of Power. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 306.

Goldman, A. (2009). Destructive Leaders and Dysfunctional Organizations. New York: Cambridge University Press, 218.

Goldman, A. (2009). Transforming Toxic Leaders. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 184.

Frost, P. & Robinson, S. (1999). The Toxic Handler: Organizational Hero — and Casualty. Harvard Business Review, 96–106. Retrieved from: (date of access: June 7, 2015).

Lipman-Blumen, J. (2005). The Allure of Toxic Leaders: Why Followers Rarely Escape Their Clutches. Ivey Business Journal. Retrieved from: (date of access: June 7, 2015).

Lipman-Blumen, J. (2005). Toxic Leadership: When Grand Illusions Masquerade as Noble Visions. Leader to Leader. Spring, 29–36.

Lubit, R. (2004, March/April). The Tyranny of Toxic Managers: Applying Emotional Intelligence to Deal With Difficult Personalities. Ivey Business Journal. Retrieved from: (date of access: June 7, 2015).

Sue, M. P. (2007). Toxic People: Decontaminate Difficult People at Work Without Using Weapons or Duct Tape. (2007). GB: John Wiley & Sons, 240.

Claybourn, M. (2010). Relationships Between Moral Disengagement, Work Characteristics and Workplace Harassment. Journal of Business Ethics, 100, 283–301.

Lubit, R. (2008). Coping with Toxic Managers, Subordinates… and Other Difficult People: Using Emotional Intelligence to Survive and Prosper. New Delhi: FT Prentice Hall, Pearson Education, 368.

Blaug, R., Kenyon, A. & Lekhi, R. (2007). Stress at Work: A Report Prepared for the Work Foundation’s Principal Partners, 92. Retrieved from: (date of access: July 2, 2015).

Colligan, T. W. & Higgins, E. M. (2005). Workplace Stress: Etiology and Consequences. Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health, 21(2), 89–97.

Mazzola, J. J., Schonfeld, I. S. & Spector, P. E. (2011). What Qualitative Research has Taught us about Occupational Stress. Stress and Health, 27, 93–110.

Virtanen, M., Vahtera, J., Pentti, J. et al. (2007). Job Strain and Psychologic Distress — Influence on Sickness Absence among Finnish Employees. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 33(3), 82–87.

Gatti, M. & Fedorova, A. E. (2014). Toksicheskie elementy korporativnykh sotsialno-trudovykh otnosheniy. Rabocheye mesto, rukovodstvo i personal [Toxic elements of corporate employment relations. Workplace, management and personnel]. Vestnik Omskogo universiteta [Bulletin of Omsk University], 2, 46–51.

Fedorova, A. & Menshikova, M. (2013). Influence of Toxic Management on Development of Crisis Situations within the Organization: Review of Russian Situation. In the XIV Workshop “Organizing in Turbulent Times: The Challenges Ahead”, May 30–31. Rome. ISBN 978–88–6787–055–4.


Copyright (c) 2018 Alena E. Fyodorova, Varvara S. Katashinskikh, Zuzana A. Dvorakova