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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | Organization and Management | 2015
Thesis number: 13905
Finding meaningfulness in customer service: job crafting practices of restaurant workers. Implications for employee well-being at Fazer Food Services.
Author: Piekkari, Annina
Title: Finding meaningfulness in customer service: job crafting practices of restaurant workers. Implications for employee well-being at Fazer Food Services.
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: Organization and Management
Index terms: johtaminen; management; organisaatio; organization; palvelut; service; ravintolat; restaurants; asiakaspalvelu; customer service; tyƶ; work; hyvinvointi; well-being; tarina; narrative
Pages: 122
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_13905.pdf pdf  size:2 MB (1164299)
Key terms: meaningful work; job crafting; employee well-being; narrative analysis; Appreciative Inquiry (AI); Self-Determination Theory (SDT)
Abstract:
The aim of this study is to contribute to the growing research of meaningful work and job crafting. These topics have attracted interest both in the academia and in the wider public during the last decades. This is due to a growing research in positive psychology and positive organizational scholarship and because increasingly many people want to experience their work as meaningful. My aim is to understand the sources of meaningful work and how do employees actively craft their work to become more meaningful. The target group is customer service employees working at Fazer Food Services staff restaurants. It is an interesting study target as there is no research of this profession and this level of employees related to meaningful work. The perspective of this study is occupational well-being and this study aims to understand how meaningful work and job crafting are connected to employee well-being.

This is a qualitative and constructionist study. The data were collected conducting eight individual semi-structured interviews with customer service personnel in different Fazer staff restaurants mostly in the Helsinki capital region. The method used was Appreciative Inquiry, where the aim is to concentrate on what people value in their work. The objective is to understand the employees' lived experiences at the workplace. Based on the interview data I constructed three narratives: Tanja the Team Worker, Pia the Pioneer, and Sanna the Sales Expert.

This study shows that the fundamental psychological needs for agency (including autonomy, responsibility, competence, and positive self-image) and relatedness (including connection, social identification, and trust) are in the heart of meaningful work. Different job crafting practices (task, relational and cognitive) are a mediating activity that can increase the experienced meaningfulness in work. Thus crafting one's job to be more meaningful is also a way to enhance employee well-being. The practical implication for management is that incorporating meaningful work and job crafting in the organizational development processes could be very beneficial for the company as well as individual employees. It could be applied in the recruiting process, development discussions, employee surveys, and supervisory training among others. Even though it is important to note that meaning should not be managed from top-down but rather by supporting the individual's own process of meaningfulness creation at work.
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