Business and the Population:
A Lack of Trust – Reasons and Consequences
Dr. Sci. (Soc.), First Deputy Director of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Head of the Center for Longitudinal Studies at the Institute for Social Policy of the National Research University Higher School of Economics, email@example.com_id: 346897 | ORCID: 0000-0002-3034-8521 | RESEARCHER_ID: F-2538-2014
Doctor of Sociology, Senior researcher, Institute of Sociology of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, firstname.lastname@example.org_id: 678594 | ORCID: 0000-0001-7078-6203 |
This article analyzes issues, the solutions for which distinctly correlate with the increase of trust between business and the population, this being one of the key factors for developing a positive entrepreneurial environment in our country. The main focus is studying problems which hamper the increase of trust between the population and small / medium business, the latter being the main means capable of insuring economic growth given the conditions when the raw materials export model of our economic development has been completely exhausted. Analysis is based upon the data from the “Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey of HSE” (RLMS-HSE). The study revealed that, despite there being significant positive shifts in the last ten years, the level of the public’s trust towards private enterprises still remains quite low, while their employees display less trust towards their management compared to those who are employed in the state sector. Lack of trust is becoming one of the reasons for a low level of entrepreneurial activity among Russians, retaining social tension in our society, as well as hostile relations between the rich and the poor. The economic crisis, which has a negative effect on citizens’ everyday life, as well as their attitudes, views and values, worsens the situation, while creating additional barriers which hamper the fortification of trust between business and the population. Dissatisfaction with the course of reforms, while being concerned with social inequality and their own state of poverty, causes citizens to stay inclined towards considering that the government should assume the main role in implementing a socially oriented economic policy. At the same time the government is not able to negotiate the population’s and business’ interests in a manner which is painless for all those involved in interaction. Business’ development is hampered by a lack of effective instruments for supporting entrepreneurship on behalf of the government, as well as frequent changes in the conditions of economic activity and restricted access to various resources. While enduring massive pressure on behalf of government officials, law enforcement and corrupt officials, business is inclined to isolate itself from society. One effective, if not particularly popular in Russia, way of increasing trust between the population and business appears to be the development of social enterprises. While increasing the effort put into improving the entrepreneurial climate, it is crucial not to forget the need to provide a balanced conjuncture between the marketplace and the state, as well as to perfect the government economic management mechanism.
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