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Article

Jorcho van Vlijmen

This study aims to explore what it is like to be a cleaner in the Netherlands. Drawing on the dirty work theory, it answers the question of how cleaners in the Netherlands…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore what it is like to be a cleaner in the Netherlands. Drawing on the dirty work theory, it answers the question of how cleaners in the Netherlands cope with the dirty work stigma.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a qualitative approach: 24 cleaners were interviewed and the researcher participated in a three-month cleaning course. By doing so, an insiders’ perspective was taken. Drawing upon the dirty work theory, a thematic analysis was made.

Findings

Cleaners take great pride in their work, but because of their social invisibility, they are not recognized by the people they work for, and they fail in being proud of themselves. This has moral consequences since cleaners start doubting whether they are seen as equal. Eventually, cleaners have an ambivalent relationship with their job.

Practical implications

Given the moral consequences, FM practitioners and researchers should take these findings into account. As FM value is dependent on the quality of the relations between FM and its stakeholders (e.g. cleaners), FM is challenged to think about its responsibilities toward cleaners and other dirty workers in its context.

Originality/value

There is not much research done in cleaning. The research that is done focuses on efficiency and organization of cleaning. Only little research focuses on the cleaner, an insiders’ perspective is scarce.

Details

Facilities, vol. 37 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

Keywords

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Article

Satu Kalliola and Jukka Niemelä

Outsourcing has gained favor since the 1980s, and Finnish paper companies used it as late as 2006, when a group of female cleaners were outsourced from the case plant of…

Abstract

Outsourcing has gained favor since the 1980s, and Finnish paper companies used it as late as 2006, when a group of female cleaners were outsourced from the case plant of this study. This article focuses on the context of outsourcing, characterized by the bargaining power and choices made by the bargaining parties, the responses of the cleaners over time and the potential theoretical explanations of the outcome. The responses, such as disappointment and anger, mental and physical tiredness, sickness absenteeism, and starting to get adjusted, were interpreted in the frameworks of occupational culture, the job characteristics model, old and new craftsmanship, and relational and transactional psychological contracts. The method was a combination of naturalistic inquiry and abduction. The study points out that more than one theoretical framework was needed to gain an understanding of the situation.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Article

J. van Gerven, L. van Horssen and N. van Veen

The threat posed to the environment by CFC cleaning processes for printed circuit boards has led to an investigation of possible alternatives. In a preselection procedure…

Abstract

The threat posed to the environment by CFC cleaning processes for printed circuit boards has led to an investigation of possible alternatives. In a preselection procedure, surprising results were obtained using propylene glycol ethers (PGE), solvents for the paint industry. In this study these ethers are compared with five other groups of cleaners, which can be divided into four water‐based classes: weak acid, neutral, weak and strong alkaline, and water miscible organic solvent cleaners which are non halogen‐containing and biodegradable. The cleaning power of PGE and other cleaners is tested on fluxes for wave and reflow soldering. Comparative results for the different groups are given, combined with surface insulation resistance measurements. Good results can be obtained using alkaline or solvent cleaners. However, it appears that the cleaning results depend heavily on the type of flux used and the choice of a matching cleaning process.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

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Article

In a paper presented to the Society of Automobile Engineers at Seattle in August, H. M. Turner, of the Donaldson Company, Inc. gave a paper on air cleaners, and discussed…

Abstract

In a paper presented to the Society of Automobile Engineers at Seattle in August, H. M. Turner, of the Donaldson Company, Inc. gave a paper on air cleaners, and discussed the choice of wet or dry cleaners, and put the case for a composite type of dry air cleaner. Fig. 1 shows the importance of air filters in the case of rock crushers and earth moving equipment of all types. The rock crusher air cleaner has to handle 1,300 times the dust that the automobile air cleaner does, more than 100 times that of the farm tractor and about 6 times that of the crawler tractor.

Details

Industrial Lubrication and Tribology, vol. 9 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0036-8792

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Article

Nora Johanne Klungseth and Siri Hunnes Blakstad

This paper aims to describe and discuss in-house cleaning services in local authorities to gain a better understanding of current practices. These descriptions are…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe and discuss in-house cleaning services in local authorities to gain a better understanding of current practices. These descriptions are intended to increase researchers’, practitioners’ and educators’ understanding of the studied issue, as there at present does not exist a solid understanding of in-house cleaning services in local authorities. Previous studies provide little detailed information regarding the internal environment of facility management (FM) organisations, in particular with regard to FM organisations’ individual services.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is based on two descriptive case studies, one from Norway and one from the UK. The case studies are based on semi-structured, face-to-face in-depth interviews and document reviews.

Findings

The cases demonstrate that in-house cleaning services can be structured and managed in different ways, particularly with respect to the split in services, the management of staff and customer contracts, the span of control, the chain of command, self-managed leadership, cleaners’ hours of duty and the use of outsourcing.

Research limitations/implications

Although the previous research on particular FM services is limited, this paper’s detailed descriptions may stimulate further development and research within the field. The knowledge brought forward is part of bridging a knowledge gap on cleaning in FM research. This knowledge can contribute to advancements in the way this service is discussed and measured across contexts by encouraging more rigour and specific studies on cleaning.

Originality/value

This paper constitutes one of the first detailed descriptions of in-house cleaning organisation in local authorities. This is a type of service supply that is common in certain contexts and identified as beneficial to cost-saving in other contexts.

Details

Facilities, vol. 34 no. 13/14
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

Keywords

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Article

Shaun Ryan

The article seeks to analyse and explore the contradictions and variations in the concepts “team” and “teamwork” and their use in the NSW, Australia, commercial cleaning industry.

Abstract

Purpose

The article seeks to analyse and explore the contradictions and variations in the concepts “team” and “teamwork” and their use in the NSW, Australia, commercial cleaning industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The article utilises an ethnographic study of a large Australian cleaning firm. Data were collected using participant observation, field notes, and interviews with managers.

Findings

The study provides evidence for the limited uptake of the idealised form of teamwork in commercial cleaning and suggests that teamworking is another means of coordinating groups of workers. Furthermore, the findings support previous research into the paradox of teams without teamwork.

Originality/value

The research provides an insight into the largely neglected area of the reorganisation of work in commercial cleaning. It also provides a critique of the concept of teams and teamworking.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 34 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

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Article

Martijn C. Vos, Jessica Sauren, Olaf Knoop, Mirjam Galetzka, Mark P. Mobach and Ad T.H. Pruyn

The purpose of this paper is to determine how the presence of cleaning staff affects perceptions and satisfaction of train passengers. Day-time cleaning is becoming…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine how the presence of cleaning staff affects perceptions and satisfaction of train passengers. Day-time cleaning is becoming increasingly popular in (public) service environments. It is however unknown how the presence of cleaning staff in the service environment affects perceptions and satisfaction of end-users.

Design/methodology/approach

Two experimental field studies were performed. Data for the first study were collected on the trajectory between the train station of Assen and the station of Groningen (N = 506) in the northern part of the Netherlands. Data for the second study were collected on the trajectory between train station “Amsterdam Amstel” and train station “Utrecht Centraal” (N = 1,113) in the central part of the Netherlands. In the experimental condition, two cleaners collected waste and performed minor cleaning activities (i.e. empty trash bins, cleaning doors and tables) during the journey. After the first study, cleaners received hospitality training and corporate uniforms.

Findings

The presence of cleaning staff positively influenced train passengers’ perceptions and satisfaction. Effects were stronger in the second study, after the second consecutive intervention (i.e. hospitality training, corporate uniforms). In both studies, the presence of cleaners positively influenced passengers’ perceptions of staff, cleanliness and comfort. The perception of atmosphere was only significant after the intervention.

Practical implications

The findings of this study allow in-house and corporate facility managers to better understand the possible effects of the presence of their cleaning staff on end-user perceptions and satisfaction.

Originality/value

The study’s value lies in its human centred approach by demonstrating the importance of day-time cleaning. This area of research has been largely neglected in the field of facilities and (public) services management research.

Details

Facilities, vol. 37 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

Keywords

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Article

F.T. Curtis

The resurgence of Austin Rover from the doldrum days of BL is one of the great success stories of British industry in the 1980's. Accompanying the attention to design…

Abstract

The resurgence of Austin Rover from the doldrum days of BL is one of the great success stories of British industry in the 1980's. Accompanying the attention to design, mechanical reliability and quality of finish that has made such cars as the Metro, the Maestro, the Montego and the ubiquitous Land Rover all top sellers, has been the great emphasis that is now placed on cleaning in power train operations.

Details

Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0003-5599

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Article

Pierrette Hondagneu‐Sotelo

This article uses the case of paid domestic work in Los Angeles to argue that affluent and middle‐class members of U.S. society constitute important participants in the…

Abstract

This article uses the case of paid domestic work in Los Angeles to argue that affluent and middle‐class members of U.S. society constitute important participants in the informal economy. In‐depth, tape‐recorded interviews conducted with thirty‐five employers of nannies and house cleaners, and survey responses of 154 Latina house cleaners and nannies shows that compliance with government regulations, as indicated by payment of Social Security, Medicare and federal tax withholdings, are rare. Affluent citizens may not directly depend on informally generated income, but as employers of paid domestic workers and nannies, they do depend on informally organized and remunerated services. Employers of paid domestic workers rely on three major narrative strategies to distance themselves from the regulations, arguing that the standards should be followed by certain categories of people (attorneys, celebrities, the very wealthy), that the regulations apply only to those employing full‐time help, and that the regulations are illegitimate because both undocumented workers and the state lack legitimacy. These rationalizations allow them to simultaneously condemn Zoe Baird and yet follow the same practices. Upgrading the occupation requires state support and the education of employers. This process would lead to greater recognition of paid domestic work as an occupation, one that merits the protections and regulatory guidelines governing other jobs.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 17 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article

Trevor Green, Stephen Swailes and Janet Handley

The purpose of this paper is to emphasise the importance for the practicing ethnographer of responding to unforeseen events that occur during periods of data collection.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to emphasise the importance for the practicing ethnographer of responding to unforeseen events that occur during periods of data collection.

Design/methodology/approach

An analysis of four unforeseen events occurring during prolonged periods of study amongst workplace cleaners is undertaken and the changes in researcher acceptance resulting from the outcomes of these events are reported.

Findings

This paper shows how awareness of the possible incidence of unforeseen events and the ability to carefully yet spontaneously manage the ethnographer’s reaction to them can substantially influence the degree of acceptance achieved by the observer within the group under study.

Originality/value

Though the need for an ethnographer to get close to the participants in a study is well documented, detailed examples as described in this paper are rare. The documentation of the nature and effects of such episodes and how they unfold serve to enhance the credibility of the research.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

Keywords

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