Employee experience of aesthetic labour in retail and hospitality

C. Warhurst, D.P. Nickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

160 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Interactive service job growth in the UK is significant.Analysis of labour within these services has tended to focus on employee attitudes, framed through emotional labour. Such analysis is not incorrect, just partial. Some employers also demand aesthetic labour, or employees with particular embodied capacities and attributes that appeal to the senses of customers. Reporting survey and focus group data, this article explores aesthetic labour as it is experienced by interactive service employees in the retail and hospitality industries. Issues examined are recruitment and selection; image and appearance; uniforms and dress codes; skills and training. By extending awareness of aesthetic labour so that both employee attitude and appearance are empirically and conceptually revealed, the article extends understanding of the job demands made of employees in interactive services.
LanguageEnglish
Pages103-120
Number of pages17
JournalWork, Employment and Society
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007

Fingerprint

aesthetics
employee
labor
communication technology
experience
service job
job demand
appeal
employer
customer
Employees
Hospitality
Aesthetic labour
Retail
industry
demand
Employee attitudes
Group
Employers
Labor

Keywords

  • aesthetic labour
  • appearance
  • attitudes
  • emotional labour
  • hospitality
  • retail
  • students

Cite this

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Employee experience of aesthetic labour in retail and hospitality. / Warhurst, C.; Nickson, D.P.

In: Work, Employment and Society, Vol. 21, No. 1, 03.2007, p. 103-120.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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