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Occupational communities and cruise tourism: testing a theory

Darren Lee‐Ross (School of Business, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 23 May 2008




This study aims to advance and test an argument for the existence of a particular type of organizational culture on board cruise tourism vessels known as an occupational community.


The paper used a questionnaire instrument developed from earlier related studies.


A strong occupational culture was identified for hospitality workers (n=72) amongst a sample of cruise ships. These communities were found to be more acute on longer duration voyages than day trips with individuals being attracted to opportunities for socialization provided by the work situation rather than the occupation itself.

Practical implications

Cruise directors/hospitality managers will need to understand how occupational communities and espoused organizational cultures impact on each other to maintain positive on‐board employee attitudes, effectiveness and efficiency.


The novel occupational view of on‐board hospitality work could provide a much‐needed new understanding of employee attitudes and behaviors in the twenty‐first century.



Lee‐Ross, D. (2008), "Occupational communities and cruise tourism: testing a theory", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 27 No. 5, pp. 467-479.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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