Occupational identity and culture: the case of Michelin-starred chefs.

Giousmpasoglou, C., Marinakou, E. and Cooper, J.C., 2017. Occupational identity and culture: the case of Michelin-starred chefs. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 29 (5), pp. 1362-1379.

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DOI: 10.1108/IJCHM-02-2016-0071

Abstract

Purpose – This study seeks to conceptualise how the occupational identity and culture of chefs is constructed and maintained through both work and social interaction. Design/methodology/approach – The research follows a qualitative interpretivist approach; in total 54 unstructured, in-depth, face-to-face interviews were conducted with Michelin- starred chefs in Great Britain and Ireland. Findings – Drawing upon the fieldwork, fresh insights into the social structures and processes which underpin the creation and maintenance of the occupational identity and culture of chefs are revealed in the chefs’ own words. Theoretical implications – This study generates empirical data that informs contemporary debates about the role of work in identity formation with particular emphasis on the induction – socialisation process. In addition, the findings of this study suggest that identity and culture are interrelated in the sense that the cultural components of an occupational culture operate to reinforce a sense of identity among its occupational members. Practical implications – The findings suggest that Michelin-starred chefs have a strong occupational identity and culture. Strict rules and discipline are often used in kitchen brigades as a means of monitoring quality and maintaining the high standards of performance. The occupational socialisation of new members is a long and painful process, that very often exceeds the limits of banter and it is analogous to the military induction. The phenomenon of bullying and violence in commercial kitchens is identified as an unacceptable behaviour that needs to be eliminated. This can be achieved with changes in the education and training of the young chefs and the strict enforcement of the anti-bullying policies. Originality/value – The understanding of chefs occupational identity and culture is critical for successful hospitality operations; nevertheless this is an under researched area. This study is unique in terms of scale and depth; it is expected to provide useful insights in both theoretical and practical perspective, regarding the formation of chefs’ identity and culture in organisational settings.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:0959-6119
Uncontrolled Keywords:Chefs; Occupational Identity; Culture; Great Britain and Ireland; Haute Cuisine Restaurants
Group:Faculty of Management
ID Code:26669
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:30 Jan 2017 12:55
Last Modified:04 Jul 2017 11:55

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