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The Lives and Attitudes of Employees in Tourism: A study of seasonal workers in a Swedish ski-resort
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences.
Responsible organisation
2001 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this paper the reader is introduced to the concept of seasonality and the characteristics of the labour market and work force in tourism. The concepts of employee empowerment work motivation and occupational communities are further discussed. The study is based upon field research carried out in the ski-resort of Åre and its surrounding villages. Data collection was carried out in the form of questionnaires and in-depth interviews with seasonal workers. The empirical part presented in the paper consists of defining characteristics of occupational communities, seasonal workers� views on work situation, important factors for doing a good job, and the attraction of Åre ski-resort for seasonal workers. When assessing the findings of the in-depth interviews, two different groups of workers appear. The first of these two � the resident community � is made up by individuals, who live on a permanent basis in the Åre region. This group is characterised by individuals, who devote themselves to non-work friends and family commitment during their spare time. They also show interest in career development within the tourism sector. Individuals, who only live in the Åre region during their seasonal work, make up the second group � the migrant community. This group is characterised by individuals, who have a close knit relationship with their co-workers, which may be a result of them sharing place of residence. They also share a work-based image and reference group. When developing strategies for hiring, further training and retaining these individuals, it is recommended to pay attention to the differences between these two groups. An organisation, which empowers its employees, gives them the opportunity to perform at their best knowledge. In this situation employees need to know how well they perform. The results from the questionnaire show that encouragement from the closest manager in the organisation is a very important factor for the employees� work performance. When respondents expressed their experience at work, encouragement from their co-workers received a higher, though not significant, score. Another important aspect for empowered employees is that they need to feel they are allowed to discuss ideas, problems etc as regards their work situation. This is viewed by a good half of the respondents to be an important factor for their work performance but there is only one third claiming that this is experienced at their place of work. Authority to make own decisions as regards work performance, is also a factor to be considered when empowering employees. Almost two thirds of the respondents perceived themselves as having the authority to make own decisions. Studies show that work itself may not be the most important motivational stimulus for seasonal employees, but rather the close social relationships. An overwhelming majority is of the opinion that nice co-workers are important for getting motivated in one�s work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Östersund: European Tourism Research Institute , 2001.
Series
Working paper - European Tourism Research Institute, ISSN 1650-4623 ; 2001:6
Keyword [en]
seasonal employees
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-5441Local ID: 1178OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-5441DiVA: diva2:30474
Available from: 2008-09-30 Created: 2009-07-27 Last updated: 2011-09-05Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf