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Social capital and job satisfaction: The case of Europe in times of economic crisis

Lange, Thomas


Thomas Lange


This study uses data for 23 countries elicited from the 2010/11 wave of the European Social Survey to examine the stability of social capital as a predictor of job satisfaction at a time of economic crisis. The analysis reveals a remarkably resilient impact of social capital and its constituent components during the economic downturn. However, this resilience is much less pronounced when the focus is on countries where the crisis was most severe, suggesting an economic development threshold below which certain social capital components lose their associational impact. However, religious activity is significantly associated with workers’ job satisfaction in these economies, providing comfort during times of socio-economic difficulty. The extent of organizational trust, measured by proxy variables for participative decision-making, has by far the strongest association with job satisfaction. This suggests that employers need to think again about the way they treat their employees to maximize the benefits of social capital and, ultimately, improve the job satisfaction scores of their workers.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jul 16, 2014
Publication Date 2015-09
Deposit Date Nov 25, 2021
Journal European Journal of Industrial Relations
Print ISSN 0959-6801
Electronic ISSN 1461-7129
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 3
Pages 275-290
Keywords Economic crisis, Europe, job satisfaction, social capital
Public URL