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The concept of occupational community revisited: analytical and managerial implications in face-to-face service occupations

Sandiford, Peter J. and Seymour, Diane (2007) The concept of occupational community revisited: analytical and managerial implications in face-to-face service occupations. employment & society, 21 (2). pp. 209-226. ISSN 1469-8722

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Abstract

This article explores the concept of occupational community in an attempt to discover whether it provides a useful analytical tool for understanding work experience in face-to-face service occupations.The conceptual components of occupational community are identified and discussed and then applied to data gathered from an ethnographic study of workers in the UK public house sector.We argue that there are strong grounds for accepting that an occupational community does develop in this sector and plays a crucial role in determining the work experience of employees. However, we also suggest that in contrast to other industrial sectors, customers themselves have a significant, but not wholly unproblematic role to play.This role and its contribution to the development of occupational community are discussed and the analytical and managerial implications are then evaluated.

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