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Hospitality and Tourism Management: How Does Aesthetic Labor Create Role Conflict? (Coursework Sample)


define aesthetic labor and state the impacts it has on service encounter and service employees. also how does aesthetic labor create role conflict?


Hospitality and Tourism Management
Aesthetic labour as defined by Warhurst & Nickson (2007, p.104) is the situation whereby employers in the service industry seek employees with attributed characteristics and capacities that appeals to the senses of customers. The employees’ appearance, attitudes and soft skills are the key factors leading to their employment in retail and hospitality industry. Most of the employers look for employees who are good looking, presentable and skillful in the service industry to increase competitiveness arising in the service industry. Technical skills are not as important as soft skills and experience since the employers target at minimizing costs on training. However, the aesthetic labour has several impacts on employees. The outcomes of the labour could affect employees both positively and negatively.
Impacts of Aesthetic Labour Practices on Service Employees
The aesthetic labour increases the level of sexual harassment of employees. The service industry focuses much on appearance, grooming and social interaction with customers. The lookism structure discussed by Warhurst and Nickson (2007, pp.111-114) creates an emotional service and labour between customers and employees. Walls (2007) found that the emotional interaction between customers and employees create a room for harassment. The customers are impressed by the good looking employees who also serve them mutually through smiling and smooth talking. The customers tend to appreciate the nature of employees by rewarding them with gifts and often asking for sexual favors (Walls, 2007). The nature of employees is characterized by the mode of dressing and the attitude towards customers. Walls (2007, pp.5-13) talk about, "Flying by the seat of her pants" where customers become angry and disappointed when their emotional needs are not fulfilled.
The aesthetic labour brings discrimination in work. Warhurst and Nickson (2007, pp.111-115) address the issue of discrimination where appearance, glooming and skills in service industry dictate the employment process. Warhurst and Nickson give a case where several employees had to be sent home because they groomed improperly and the employers perceived them as not presentable. The employee had tattoos and piercings on several parts of his face. He was transferred from service work to kitchen work because of appearance. Employees often get discriminated in the selection process during recruitment. Employees termed to lack experience and skills in service industry often do not get jobs Warhurst and Nickson (2007, p.113-115). Dahl (2013) says workers get discriminated due to their appearances and looks where more qualified candidates suitable for the jobs are excluded. The unskilled workers also suitable for the jobs but lack appearances and good look features are often discriminated in the recruitment process.
The self-esteem of employees is also lowered and often leads to workers terminating contracts. Warhurst and Nickson (2007, p.113) describe employers mocking their workers due to improperly dressing and too much make up and eventually send them home. Dahl (2013) points out that employees are pressurized to keep the true state of social integration with customers through constant smiling. The employers also monitor how employees offer services to customers by watching on how they carry trays and approach customers. The employees often get stressed and perceive it as dehumanizing and this affect the employees negatively which leads them to quit their jobs.
The aesthetic labor motivates the employees through constant encouragement. The employers often reward employees who increasingly attract the attention of customers that regularly visit the service industries (Warhurst & Nickson, 2007). The customers also complement the employees due to their services and this often boosts their self images (Dahl 2013; Johnston, 2005). The constant increase of customers makes the employers to increase salaries of employees because of the increased profit in the industry.
Impact of Changes in Aesthetic Labour Practices on Service Encounter
The changes experienced in service industry through aesthetic labor increased relationships between customers and employees. Dahl (2013, pp.60-63) described that the social interaction between customers and workers created intimate relationships. The customers who get impressed with employees’ dressing code often flirt with them (Walls, 2007, pp.171-180). The employees evaluate the customers carefully which later lead to intimate relationships.
The appearance and attitude of customers has led to the provision of quality services. Warhurst, Nickson & Dutton (2005, pp.196-197) conclude that the employees must provide quality services to meet the customer expectations. Emotional labour entitled with responsiveness, courtesy and understanding the customer leads to provision of quality services. The employees are encouraged to be helpful to customers that will increase the relationship between the two parties. Quality services will make the customers feel appreciated and thus yield constant flow of customers (Nickson, Warhurst & Dutton, 2005, pp.196-197).
The aesthetic labor creates competitive advantage in service industry and service encounter. The concept of good looking and sounding right in employees raises the company image where customers weigh services according to companies (Nickson, Warhurst & Dutton, 2005, pp.196-198). The constant visits of customers made the retail and hospitality industries termed as hotspots where other industries sought to have aesthetic labor.
How aesthetic labour creates Role conflict
Role conflict is defined to be the roles carried out by and individual that controvert with the roles of the organization. It is also defined as the level to which a person encounters pressures within one role that contradicts with pressures that take place within another role (Quarat-ul-ain, Khattak & Iqbal, 2013, p.711). Aesthetic la...
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