Strategy & Organisation Research Seminar

Event Date: 16 April 2014

Presenter 1 –  Dr Marisa Smith

Title:  Innovation Activities – perspectives from the call centre coal face

Abstract:  Call centres are at the heart of modern life and represent a fascinating research environment due to their unique work context, i.e. the perception that they are ‘an assembly line in the head’ (Taylor and Bain, 1999).  Using the concept of High-Involvement Innovation (Bessant , 2003), the aim of this research is to examine innovation activities in front-line service work.  Using evidence collected from seven UK call centres, views from employees and managers are examined to explore the involvement of front-line workers in innovation activities.  A number of themes surrounding innovation activities emerged through the course of the analysis these are; the quality of ideas generated, how the call centre links with the wider innovation activities of the organisation, empowerment, electronic innovation management, role of management and nature of work. 


Presenter 2 - Tom Bourkel

Title:  An ethnography of a cultural learning transition: evidence from a fine dining kitchen

Abstract:  Using an ethnographic methodology, the current research aims to explore the socialisation process of chefs who enter the occupational community of a restaurant kitchen. More specifically, through the lens of symbolic interactionism, the research seeks to address how a localised occupational community equips its members with the necessary occupational know-how in order to become a functional social entity in the workplace.  In particular, it is interested in occupationally related social development, including creation of self-image, acquisition of informal traits, norms and values, the informal pecking order and workplace trials and tribulations. Viewing the community as a socio-cultural entity, the study seeks to understand the culture that a community represents and the know-how it endorses.

Published: 14 January 2016

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