Drivers of flow and commitment among service workers : an empirical exploration of Goffman’s institutions in the UK Branded Restaurant Industry
Watson, Alastair William
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This thesis explores the theory of Goffman’s institutions and applies his concept to the UK Branded Restaurant Industry. Restaurants in the UK are a large part of the tourism hospitality industry, representing around 50% of the business activity in these fields, of which we see dominance from a number of branded operators. Goffman’s institutions, flow, commitment, motivation, spirituality, and deviant behaviour are combined to create a theoretical underpinning for an empirical analysis of staff working in the field. The research focuses on the drivers of flow and commitment of staff. The study successfully applies Goffman’s theory of institutions to the UK Branded Restaurant Industry, by finding similarity in the concepts which are central to those of a traditional asylum, as discussed in Goffman’s early works, and contributing additional aspects to his original theories. The study is the first large scale empirical analysis to examine the nature of flow, commitment, motivation, spirituality, and deviant behaviour, in the context of UK Branded Restaurants. Within the study, the findings show that there is gender parity in this section of the tourism and hospitality industry, which deviates from previous literature. It also identifies key groups of employees who demonstrate higher levels of commitment through intrinsic values and belief systems. The findings are particularly important to managers as they point what is important when identifying new staff members.