Corruption in the post-Soviet workplace: the experiences of recent graduates in contemporary Ukraine

John Round, Colin C. Williams, Peter Rodgers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While Ukraine was bestowed market economy status by the European Union in 2005 its labour market still endures many structural problems. By exploring the experiences of young graduate employees this article highlights the difficultly in obtaining work within Ukraine's labour market and the problems they face once they have secured employment. Rather than seeing the development of a transparent labour market the collapse of the command economy has seen a relatively closed system develop. The article demonstrates how many jobs are secured through the use of connections or the demanding, and payment, of bribes.The situation does not improve once graduates obtain long-term employment. Interviewees discuss the lack of job security, the informal payment of wages and the lack of legal protection from corrupt employer practices. The article has broader resonance outside of the Ukrainian case study as the discussion of workplace corruption highlights how the issue is concerned with much more than simply cash based transactions and how those that endure it are likely to turn to the informal economy for employment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-166
Number of pages18
JournalWork, Employment and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008


  • corruption
  • graduate labour markets
  • informal economies
  • Ukraine
  • wages


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