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A critical theoretical and visual analysis of my experience of work
Within this assignment I will show a critical, theoretical and visual analysis of my work within a night club (OMG Bristol); I have currently worked there 7 months. Work is defined by (Fineman et al, 2010) as “somewhere you undertake a physical or mental activity in order to achieve a result”. The two topics I have chosen to asses are motivation and also emotions. In relation to motivation I will be assessing Hertzberg’s (1966) theory about motivational and hygiene factors; also in relation to emotions looking at a Hochschild’s (1983) social constructionist theory. The image of motivation with the sign relates to motivation within the workplace, and is relevant for my explanation of Hertzberg’s two factor theory (1996). Also the image of the faces represents emotions, and aesthetic labour in the work place.
“Motivation is an internal force, dependant on the needs that drive a person to achieve”
(Schulze and Steyn, 2003)
Hertzberg’s (1996) theory centres around two main factors, the first being motivating factors and the second relating to hygiene factors. Motivating factors focus around the job content; such as recognition, responsibility and the work itself – this can lead to high levels of satisfaction within the job role, and see an increase in motivation. Whether its self-motivation or team-motivation. Secondly considering hygiene factors, which are considered in an organisational context, these include factors such as working conditions, pay, company policy and supervisory style – these factors can remove dissatisfaction but don’t contribute to motivation.
To put this theory into context, the motivation factors are what managers must focus on to give employee’s job satisfaction and to motivate employees. Whereas hygiene factors are necessary to prevent employees being dissatisfied in the workplace – the motivators are there to motivate employees providing the hygiene factors have been taken into consideration. By not considering the hygiene factors it could cause dissatisfaction at work… because hygiene factors are not direct motivators.
When relating Hertzberg’s two factor theory to my personal experience, the first point to be considered is that within my current employment at OMG, there are motivating factors – the main one is the responsibility given by the company to its staff, to serve alcohol responsibly and follow the legislation implemented by the government, such as the sale of alcohol to persons under 18 is illegal. Also recognition and advancement, where if a person excels at their work they could be offered a promotion to assistant manager, then when a new venue opens are running their own night club. Because of these factors, they motivate me to do more, become available when-ever needed because of the possibility of advancement through the company, achieved by putting in more time and effort, motivating me.
Secondly to be considered is the hygiene factors of OMG, such as pay; because the company pays minimum wage, this can substantially impact on my motivation to work long night shifts, whilst juggling work, university and a social life. Also the security of the venue and working conditions are a factor in my job satisfaction, knowing that I am safe because of door security and the working conditions are manageable; but sometimes when working in a cold room (e.g. cloakroom) this actually causes my job dissatisfaction. Although sometimes the supervisory style may not be a hygiene factor, and more of a motivator, when we receive recognition, this may vary depending on supervisor. The hygiene factors don’t add to my personal motivation, but merely remove the job dissatisfaction; this can vary depending on the degree of the situation.
To conclude on motivation, I personally believe that some of the motivators and hygiene factors can vary, because within Hertzberg’s research he conducted, it was only on 200 engineers; therefore I believe it can vary depending on the industry. This is reinforced by (Noel, 1976) who states there is much debate on how to distinguish between hygiene and motivational factors. Another example is (Nave, 1968) who states that “the differences are due to the intensity of the labour requirement and the duration of employment” So peoples motivation may change dependant on how labour intensive the job role is and the duration of that person’s employment. The theory of Hertzberg is proven ambiguous as to whether or not factors are hygiene or motivational, it is dependent on each person’s perspective.
Emotional labour is defined as “a form of emotion regulation that creates a publicly visible facial and bodily display within the workplace” (Hochschild, 1983)
According to Hochschild there are three types of emotions; the first being cognitive, this revolves around the idea that a person can change their thoughts, feelings and ideas – in doing so they can change their feelings associated. Secondly considering bodily emotions, these centres around the idea that a person can change the way they behave physically, and by doing so can create the desired emotion. Lastly is expressive emotion, which relates to when a person attempts to change their expressions to change how they feel inside. An example of this is when a person tries to laugh when trying to change their emotion to feel happier.
Hochschild (1983) defines jobs involving emotions and emotional labour as thoughts that require, face-to-face or voice-to-voice contact with customers – or require the worked to produce an emotional state within another person. Also that allows the employer, through training and supervision, to exercise a degree of control over the emotional activities of employers (Hochschild, 1983). During his theory it’s argued that the commodification process service workers become estranged from their own personal feeling within the workplace.
The display of emotion is the single and most important factor when working in a bar setting, because if I am happy and enjoying my job then the atmosphere when people walk into the venue is positive. This can substantially impact on the sales for the night if people show negative emotion, through arguing or disagreeing with customers. Even showing my tiredness because of the long night hours, or talking about negative about customers or events.
When relating the theory to my personal experience at OMG Bristol, it is apparently clear that because the role is labor intensive and required not only face to face contact but also voice to voice. Therefore this can substantially have an impact on the way a person perceives their emotions within the workplace. Personally we are trained like in the army, always having the same phrase repeated… “The customer is always right”, because of this you must always try and keep the customer happy.
Within the line of work I do, there is always someone watching over you, whether it’s on the CCTV or in person. So the way I act must be correct at all times… therefore it can be difficult to distinguish what I am actually feeling, and the emotion I am displaying, whether it be cognitive, bodily or expressive.
When looking at the criticisms of this theory, I believe that the emotional labor requirements could be more alienating for employees, because it takes away their individuality, and doesn’t let their personality show. Because of this its like there are all the same, even though it shows consistencies it doesn’t allow the employees chance to be themselves. The job role doesn’t involve doing the job efficiently, but also ensuring that the employee doesn’t act in a certain way and must follow the guide-lines of the company.
So to conclude on my criticisms of this theory, I believe that the emotional labor changes depending on the industry, airlines may have different emotional requirements, compared to industries such as bar tending and night club work. Because of this the overall theory is subject to the individual industry. Also the control managers have on their employees can cause increased stress levels and make the work more strenuous because employees are always adjusting their emotions to fit the needs of the organisation. This is what I have interpreted according to Hochschild’s theory (1983).
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Hochschild, A. R. (1983). The managed heart: Commercialization of human feeling. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
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Word Count: 1,318 Student Number: 13021444 Name: Jordan Levi Saile