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Title: Organizational and occupational commitment : exploring chefs from a cultural perspective
Author: Cameron, Derek Stephen
ISNI:       0000 0001 3514 9858
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2004
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A central research theme in commitment theory is the use of attitudinal surveys, which for the most part, are designed to measure organizational commitment (Mathews et al, 2002). As an alternative to a unitary concept (i. e. organizational culture and organizational commitment), this thesis has explored both the commitment and cultural concept of occupation and organization to a self-percept of chefs working for 4-and 5-star hotels in the UK. Methodologically, the research followed a dualistic-approach using a 'nomothetic method' for quantitative-deductive inquiry and an 'ideographic method' for qualitative-inductive inquiry. The results of the nomothetic inquiry (n=135), revealed behavioural consistencies recurrent to commitment. It provided cues to chefs' cultural practices and norms. Drawing from these findings, the quantitative constructs were converted to qualitative constructs addressing the issue of why things happen. The data elicited from multiple-case studies: 6 hotels, a total of 30 participants, was analysed in a number of ways. These were: 'strength of association', 'consistency', and 'specificity' for attitudinal and behavioural commitment in talk. This was followed by commitment analysis to phenomenon and the ad-hoc in 'talk'. Essentially, chefs gave their perceptual thoughts on commitment through narrative based on a series of cognitive maps. As mutual-equivalence, chefs described cognitive schemas, which were attitudinally 'valuable' to their occupation (Becker 1960). In contrast to occupation commitment, chefs' commitment to organization was, in most cases, behavioural. Enactments of commitment revealed behavioural 'side-bets' (Becker 1960) to themes of discourse. Conversational 'talk' revealed discourse markers depicting 'well', 'actually, 'in fact' and 'oh'. As a result, the chef self-percept reveals cognitive schema attributable to five operational themes: opportunity, occupation, reputation, hard work and skills. This revealed rich data, which showed that chefs are, in many cases, highly committed to their occupation. This is mainly because they seek opportunity for occupational development: gaining professional experience is a key factor. Chefs aspire to be inspired by their occupation and not by their organization. In addition, the research reveals that chefs display a mutual-equivalence without necessarily enacting cognitive sharing with their organization.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available