The Perceived Quality of Working Life in Croatia and the European Union

Branimir Sverko, Zvonimir Galić


This study explores the perceived quality of working life (QWL) in Croatia and in two groups of EU countries: the EU17, which comprises established market economies of Western Europe, and the EU10, which consists of ten Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. The analysis draws upon the database of the Fifth European Working Conditions Survey, the fieldwork for which was carried out in 2010. The number of participants was 24,424 in the EU17, 10,948 in the EU10, and 1,100 in the Croatian sample. Four dimensions have been constructed to measure the QWL: (1) economic security, (2) social relations at work, (3) meaningfulness of work, and (4) autonomy and participation in making decisions. The results show that the CEE countries lag behind the Western European countries, in particular in economic security. In a hierarchical cluster analysis the two groups are bundled together in separate clusters, indicating that a pronounced East-West divide in quality of working life continues to exist. Croatia, although with relatively high ratings on social relations, clusters together with the other transitional countries.


quality of working life; job quality; cross-national comparison; the European Union; Croatia

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096