Search results

1 – 10 of 30
Article
Publication date: 20 December 2019

Pauline Anderson and Chris Warhurst

There is renewed interest in the professions as a range of occupations pursue professionalisation projects. The purpose of this paper is turn analysis to an important…

Abstract

Purpose

There is renewed interest in the professions as a range of occupations pursue professionalisation projects. The purpose of this paper is turn analysis to an important omission in current research – the skills deployed in the work of these professions. Such research is necessary because skills determine the formal classification of occupations as a profession.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on qualitative research, this paper explores the deployment of skills in work of one newly professionalised occupation in the UK’s National Health Service – physiotherapists.

Findings

The findings point to a disconnect between how this occupation has become a profession (the skills to get the job, and related political manoeuvring by representative bodies) and the mixed outcomes for their skills deployment (the skills to do the job) in work as a profession.

Originality/value

The paper provides missing empirical understanding of change for this new profession, and new conceptualisation of that change as both symbolic and substantive, with a “double hybridity” around occupational control and skill deployment for physiotherapists as a profession.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 42 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 July 2007

Doris Ruth Eikhof, Chris Warhurst and Axel Haunschild

The purpose of this article is to initiate critical reflection on the assumptions and evidence underpinning the work‐life balance debate.

25041

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to initiate critical reflection on the assumptions and evidence underpinning the work‐life balance debate.

Design/methodology/approach

The article reviews a range of international literature focused on and related to the work‐life balance debate and issues.

Findings

In the work‐life balance debate, over‐work is perceived as the problem. Nevertheless, beyond working time and the provision of flexible working practices to enable child care, there is little in the debate abut the need to change work per se. The debate also narrowly perceives “life”, equating it with women's care work, hence the emphasis again of family‐friendly polices.

Research limitations/implications

The article suggests that reconceptualisation is required in analyses of both work‐life balance and the relationship between work and life.

Practical implications

The article implies that current work‐life balance policies are myopic in terms of addressing the needs and aspirations of employees.

Originality/value

The article offers a synthesis of evidence that is wider than that typical in current analyses of work and life.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2000

Jonathan C. Morris

Looks at the 2000 Employment Research Unit Annual Conference held at the University of Cardiff in Wales on 6/7 September 2000. Spotlights the 76 or so presentations within…

29846

Abstract

Looks at the 2000 Employment Research Unit Annual Conference held at the University of Cardiff in Wales on 6/7 September 2000. Spotlights the 76 or so presentations within and shows that these are in many, differing, areas across management research from: retail finance; precarious jobs and decisions; methodological lessons from feminism; call centre experience and disability discrimination. These and all points east and west are covered and laid out in a simple, abstract style, including, where applicable, references, endnotes and bibliography in an easy‐to‐follow manner. Summarizes each paper and also gives conclusions where needed, in a comfortable modern format.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 23 no. 9/10/11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2005

Dennis Nickson, Chris Warhurst and Eli Dutton

For service organisations the interaction between front‐line personnel and the customer is crucial as they aim to create high quality service encounters. Much research has…

23747

Abstract

Purpose

For service organisations the interaction between front‐line personnel and the customer is crucial as they aim to create high quality service encounters. Much research has focused on attempts by organisations to inculcate the “right” kind of attitude in their front‐line employees. This paper seeks to extend this analysis by pointing to the increasing importance not just of having employees with the “right” attitudes, but also possessing aesthetic skills. The emergence of aesthetic skills reflects the growing importance of aesthetic labour in interactive services. That is, employers' increasingly desire that employees should have the “right” appearance in that they “look good” and “sound right” in the service encounter in retail and hospitality.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper mainly utilises responses to a structured questionnaire from employers in the retail and hospitality industries in Glasgow, although reference is also made to a similar employees' questionnaire.

Findings

The evidence from the questionnaires suggests that employers in the retail and hospitality industries are not generally looking for “hard” technical skills in their front‐line personnel, but rather “soft” skills. Such “soft” skills encompass attitude and, importantly, appearance – what we term “aesthetic skills” – and the latter is often underappreciated in academic and policy‐making debates.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of the survey suggest that academics and policy‐makers need to expand the way they think about “soft” skills. Specifically, they need to be aware of the extent of employers’ needs for both social and aesthetic skills.

Originality/value

The findings of the survey have implications from a policy perspective and policy‐makers may need to think about if and how these needs can be incorporated into education and training provision.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 13 July 2007

Doris Ruth Eikhof

9629

Abstract

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Article
Publication date: 9 August 2013

Doris Ruth Eikhof and Chris Warhurst

The purpose of this paper is to develop a more comprehensive understanding of why social inequalities and discrimination remain in the creative industries.

4654

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a more comprehensive understanding of why social inequalities and discrimination remain in the creative industries.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper synthesizes existing academic and industry research and data, with a particular focus on the creative media industries.

Findings

The paper reveals that existing understanding of the lack of diversity in the creative industries’ workforce is conceptually limited. Better understanding is enabled through an approach centred on the creative industries’ model of production. This approach explains why disadvantage and discrimination are systemic, not transitory.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that current policy assumptions about the creative industries are misguided and need to be reconsidered. The findings also indicate how future research of the creative industries ought to be framed.

Originality/value

The paper provides a novel synthesis of existing research and data to explain how the creative industries’ model of production translates into particular features of work and employment, which then translate into social inequalities that entrench discrimination based on sex, race and class.

Article
Publication date: 13 July 2007

Ken Roberts

The purpose of this article is to consider why work‐life balance has become a major issue, and the likely outcomes of the widespread dissatisfaction with current work schedules.

9571

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to consider why work‐life balance has become a major issue, and the likely outcomes of the widespread dissatisfaction with current work schedules.

Design/methodology/approach

The article reviews international evidence on hours of work and time use, and the academic literature on employees’ attitudes towards their hours of work, and perceptions and complaints about work‐life imbalances.

Findings

Working time has not lengthened and complaints about time pressure are unrelated to hours actually worked. The sources of the widespread dissatisfaction with current work schedules will lie in a combination of other trends – increased labour market participation by women, work intensification, the spread of feelings of job insecurity, more work being done at odd hours, the spread of new information and communication technologies, free time increasing more slowly than spending power and aspirations, and relatively long hours becoming most common among employees (and the self‐employed) in higher status jobs. An outcome is unlikely to be a general downward trend in hours worked on account of the substantial opportunity costs that would often be incurred by employees, and because some (mainly middle class) employees have access to a number of effective coping strategies.

Research limitations/implications

Nearly all the evidence considered (and available) is from Western countries.

Practical implications

Regulation of working time with the aim of delivering more acceptable work‐life balances needs to deliver flexibility (at employees' discretion) rather than any standard solution.

Originality/value

The article offers a synthesis of evidence from sources that are rarely drawn together – mainly labour market research, and leisure studies.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 July 2007

Jeff Hyman and Juliette Summers

The purpose of this article is to assess the influence of different forms of organisational representation on the provision of work‐life balance employment policies.

8184

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to assess the influence of different forms of organisational representation on the provision of work‐life balance employment policies.

Design/methodology/approach

The article uses on‐site semi‐structured interviews with employees, HR and line managers and trade union representatives in four case studies as well as survey responses from a total of 17 institutions in the financial services sector.

Findings

Employees do influence work‐life balance issues in the financial services sector, and work‐life balance initiatives had greater breadth, codification and quality where independent unions were recognised. In all cases however, the extent of departure from minimal statutory levels of provision was not great.

Research limitations/implications

The nature of the study and its focus on Scotland may limit the generalisability of the findings into other sectors or regions.

Practical implications

In light of the evolving work‐life balance legislative framework, this article should be of practical interest to trade unions, practitioners and academics. It demonstrates that organisations and unions need to retain and develop a focus on work‐life balance applications.

Originality/value

The article indicates the prevalence of management control of the work‐life balance agenda and management's discretion in the operation of work‐life issues. Employees and their representatives accepted this control, and their private individualised responsibility for balancing work and life, without challenge. These results inform current understanding of how work‐life balance legislation, based on a voluntarist agenda, translates into practice.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 July 2007

Ann Bergman and Jean Gardiner

The purpose of this article is to explore the concept of availability, both empirically and theoretically, in the context of three Swedish organisations, and identifies…

3078

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to explore the concept of availability, both empirically and theoretically, in the context of three Swedish organisations, and identifies the structural influences on availability patterns for work and family.

Design/methodology/approach

The article is based on quantitative case studies using employer records and an employee questionnaire in three organisations. Multivariate descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression are used to illustrate and analyse patterns of availability for work and family.

Findings

The descriptive data demonstrate the influence of the organisational context and type of production process, as well as gender, on availability patterns. Patterns of work availability appeared to differ across the organisations to a greater extent than patterns of family availability, which were highly gendered. The logistic regression results indicated that: occupation was a significant influence on both temporal and spatial availability patterns across the organisations; gender was the most significant influence on time spent on household work and part‐time working for parents with young children; age of employees and age of employees' children were the most significant factors influencing the use of time off work for family.

Research limitations/implications

Analysis limited to case studies. More extensive quantitative research would be needed to make empirical generalisations. Qualitative research would be needed to establish whether and how employees are able to make use of different availability patterns to improve their work‐life balance.

Originality/value

The concept of availability is a new way of trying to capture and analyse tensions in people's everyday lives as they try to manage multiple demands.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2004

Dennis Nickson, Chris Warhurst, Cliff Lockyer and Eli Dutton

This paper considers a so far unappreciated sector of the labour market – lone parents. The number of lone parents has increased dramatically in recent years…

2132

Abstract

This paper considers a so far unappreciated sector of the labour market – lone parents. The number of lone parents has increased dramatically in recent years. Consideration of lone parents allows for a discussion of two key issues within the contemporary labour market: the attempts by government to increase the number of lone parents in work; and relatedly, governmental initiatives which have sought to reform the tax and benefit system to make work more attractive and also address the need for work‐life balance for parents. The paper considers these issues by reporting a small‐scale piece of research that sought to address the viability of the supermarket sector as a suitable employer for lone parents. The results suggest that the increasing numbers of students entering the labour market means that supermarkets are unlikely to consider lone parents as an important, discrete source of labour.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

1 – 10 of 30