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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…

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

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2007

Tom Baum, Eli Dutton, Shamim Karimi, Jithendran Kokkranikal, Frances Devine and Niamh Hearns

The purpose of this paper is to address the growing importance of migrant workers to the hospitality industry of peripheral locations in the UK.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the growing importance of migrant workers to the hospitality industry of peripheral locations in the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on data collected through in‐depth surveys of and focus group discussions with migrant workers in hotels in three peripheral locations in the UK.

Findings

Findings point to varied experiences for international workers in terms of recruitment and selection of international workers; their work‐related and social integration within the workforce and the wider community; aspirations for training and development among international employees; insights into the futures that migrant workers see for themselves; and their overall experience of living and working in the UK.

Research limitations/implications

The study is located in three regions of the UK and each study is of relatively small scale. This is a potential limitation but compensation is afforded by the depth of information collected in each location.

Practical implications

The study suggests that employers are unwilling to invest in the development of international staff who have high levels of general education and training that is not sector specific. Promotion opportunities are seen to be limited. The paper points to the need for hospitality management to make more effective use of this source of labour.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to undertake a study of the migrant worker experience in peripheral areas of the UK and to focus on a diverse skills sector such as hospitality.

Details

Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7606

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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…

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

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Abstract

Details

Developing Leaders for Positive Organizing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-241-1

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Article
Publication date: 6 September 2013

Linda S. Henderson, Richard W. Stackman and Charles Y. Koh

The purpose of this study is to explore women project managers as a group in order to generate new understanding about the present project context within which they work…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore women project managers as a group in order to generate new understanding about the present project context within which they work and to promote new research‐based ideas for optimizing their potential in business organizations. To this end, the paper explore their demographics and project characteristics, their project challenges and issue selling moves, and their perspectives on the advantages and disadvantages for women in this profession.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected using quantitative and qualitative questionnaire items of 211 female project managers in North America.

Findings

The research results show significant associations among women project managers' career, age, cost of their projects, and their professional certifications. In addition, their challenges and issue‐selling moves produce six factors related to their influence of others. Lastly, the results reveal women's self‐described advantages and disadvantages in the project management profession showing that while women project managers do continue to experience marginalization from gender bias, they are leveraging particular job challenges and issue selling circumstances to their advantage in moving through gender bias.

Research limitations/implications

The results of this study contribute to our knowledge of important real‐world challenges and career development opportunities for women managing contemporary projects. Several implications for future research that build on women's issue selling in project management are discussed. Suggestions for broadening the sample in future research are also included.

Practical implications

This paper highlights several important ways in which business organizations can strengthen and optimize their women project managers, and offset second‐generation gender bias.

Originality/value

This is only the second study to consider the real‐world contextual factors of women's projects, and the first study to explore their perspective specifically in terms of their job challenges, issue selling, and self‐described disadvantages and advantages in managing projects. Business organizations are in a unique historical position to uplift their project management capacity and leadership talent through developing and promoting women project managers.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Book part
Publication date: 17 October 2016

Kristin L. Cullen-Lester, Alexandra Gerbasi and Sean White

This chapter utilizes a network perspective to show how the totality of one’s social connections impacts well-being by providing access to resources (e.g., information…

Abstract

This chapter utilizes a network perspective to show how the totality of one’s social connections impacts well-being by providing access to resources (e.g., information, feedback, and support) and placing limits on autonomy. We provide a brief review of basic network concepts and explain the importance of understanding how the networks in which leaders are embedded may enhance or diminish their well-being. Further, with this greater understanding, we describe how leaders can help promote the well-being of their employees. In particular, we focus on four key aspects of workplace networks that are likely to impact well-being: centrality, structural holes, embeddedness, and negative ties. We not only discuss practical implications for leaders’ well-being and the well-being of their employees, but also suggest directions for future research.

Details

The Role of Leadership in Occupational Stress
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-061-9

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Book part
Publication date: 18 April 2012

Susan C. Schneider, Patricia Garcia-Prieto Chevalier and Veronique Tran

Although there is growing acknowledgment of the business case for diversity, efforts to recognize diversity as a strategic issue and to implement diversity initiatives…

Abstract

Although there is growing acknowledgment of the business case for diversity, efforts to recognize diversity as a strategic issue and to implement diversity initiatives have often been thwarted. We note that diversity is a “hot” issue not only because of the increasing attention being paid by both academics and practitioners, but also because of its potential to evoke strong emotions. We argue that “diversity” makes salient different identities (organizational, group, and individual) leading to different interpretations that can evoke specific emotional and behavioral reactions. This may help to explain whether top management teams identify and invest in diversity as a strategic issue, and whether diversity initiatives are supported or resisted by different groups and individuals throughout the organization. Thus it is important for global leaders to understand the role of identities in how diversity as a strategic issue may be interpreted and responded to by key decision-makers as well as those concerned with the implementation of diversity initiatives.

Details

Advances in Global Leadership
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-002-5

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2020

Sandra E. Cha, Stephanie J. Creary and Laura Morgan Roberts

Black people, as members of a historically underrepresented and marginalized racial identity group in the workplace, are often confronted with identity references …

Abstract

Purpose

Black people, as members of a historically underrepresented and marginalized racial identity group in the workplace, are often confronted with identity references – face-to-face encounters in which their race is referenced by a White colleague in a comment, question or joke. Identity references can be interpreted by a Black colleague in a variety of ways (e.g. as hostile and insulting or well-intentioned, even flattering). Identity references can derail the building of relationships across difference, but under certain conditions may open the door for deeper understanding and connection. The conceptual framework in this article delineates conditions under which an identity reference may elicit an initial negative reaction, yet, when engaged directly, may lead to generative experiences and promote higher connection and learning in relationships across difference.

Design/methodology/approach

This article builds theory on identity references by incorporating relevant research on race, identity, diversity, attribution and interpersonal relationships at work.

Findings

The framework identifies a common precursor to identity references and three factors that are likely to influence the attribution a Black person makes for a White colleague's identity reference. It then describes how, based on that attribution, a Black person is likely to respond to the White referencer, and how that response is likely to affect their interpersonal relationship over time.

Originality/value

By explicating how a single identity reference can have significant implications for relationships across difference, the framework deepens understanding of how race affects the development of interpersonal relationships between Black and White colleagues at work. In doing so, this article advances research on race, diversity, workplace relationships and positive organizational scholarship.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 40 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 20 November 2017

Courtney L. McCluney, Courtney M. Bryant, Danielle D. King and Abdifatah A. Ali

Racially traumatic events – such as police violence and brutality toward Blacks – affect individuals in and outside of work. Black employees may “call in Black” to avoid…

Abstract

Purpose

Racially traumatic events – such as police violence and brutality toward Blacks – affect individuals in and outside of work. Black employees may “call in Black” to avoid interacting with coworkers in organizations that lack resources and perceived identity and psychological safety. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper integrates event system theory (EST), resourcing, and psychological safety frameworks to understand how external, racially traumatic events impact Black employees and organizations. As racially traumatic events are linked to experienced racial identity threat, the authors discuss the importance of both the availability and creation of resources to help employees to maintain effective workplace functioning, despite such difficult circumstances.

Findings

Organizational and social-identity resourcing may cultivate social, material, and cognitive resources for black employees to cope with threats to their racial identity after racially traumatic events occur. The integration of organizational and social-identity resourcing may foster identity and psychologically safe workplaces where black employees may feel valued and reduce feelings of racial identity threats.

Research limitations/implications

Implications for both employees’ social-identity resourcing practice and organizational resource readiness and response options are discussed.

Originality/value

The authors present a novel perspective for managing diversity and inclusion through EST. Further, the authors identify the interaction of individual agency and organizational resources to support Black employees.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 36 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1998

Andrew Korac‐Kakabadse, Nada Korac‐Kakabadse and Andrew Myers

Leadership philosophy is explored through gender and other demographic characteristics in the Australian Public Service (APS), at the federal government level. Leadership…

Abstract

Leadership philosophy is explored through gender and other demographic characteristics in the Australian Public Service (APS), at the federal government level. Leadership philosophy is conceptualised as the leader’s attitudes, values and behaviour. Gender differences in characteristics of leaders (executives and middle managers) are examined in terms of strategic behaviour, management style, work‐related values, adoption of information technology, perceived organisational morale, family/work conflict and personal, work and family satisfaction. The gender differences are investigated using questionnaire responses from a sample of 750 respondents, of which 569 were male and 145 female. The APS findings are compared with a Cranfield study conducted in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), where gender differences are explored in terms of management and strategic orientation. A sample of 515 chief executives, medical, clinical, HR and financial directors, chairpersons and other non‐executive directors, consists of 406 male and 108 female respondents. The APS study reveals that there are no significant gender differences in the majority of measured characteristics. Similarly in the NHS Trusts study, no significant gender differences are found in terms of management and strategic orientation. The conclusion reached is that other demographic characteristics are influential in forming leadership philosophies, namely job and organisational tenure and experience of senior management responsibilities, thus highlighting the importance of organisational demographics and their impact on leadership attitudes and practice.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

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