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Title: Employee coping strategies in an uncertain work environment
Author: Eales, Keith
ISNI:       0000 0004 2682 0111
Awarding Body: Bournemouth University
Current Institution: Bournemouth University
Date of Award: 2004
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This qualitative research investigated, on a longitudinal basis, two issues with regard to a small family business owned and managed by a husband and wife. Firstly, it considered why non-family employees sought to remain with the company despite breach of their psychological contracts following a dispute with the family members and the significantly hostile work environment that ensued. Secondly, it investigated the coping strategies adopted by employees to make the work environment more tolerable to them. Undertaken from an insider perspective, and using semi-structured interviews and participant observation to collect data, overlaying the study are insights and reflections on the challenges and difficulties faced by a manager researcher in undertaking research into sensitive issues within their own workplace. The research has made a contribution to under researched areas within the family business literature. Specifically, it has identified new factors which moderate perceptions of breach and violation of the psychological contract and encourage staff to remain with the company. These are, firstly, the way that work is organised, offering scope for individual responsibility to relatively junior members of staff and for the expression of individual identity and, secondly, the development of group unity. The research also found that staff have adopted a number of coping strategies, such as talk, unity and managing work practices and their time commitment, to deal with the hostility towards them in the workplace. The motivation of employees behind these strategies has been identified as being to survive, to exercise a degree of control over their work environment and their contribution to it and to assert a degree of identity. Finally, the research has contributed to personal and professional practice through identifying the vulnerability of employees in small and family businesses in the absence of developed HR policies and procedures.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Business, Management and Marketing