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Swedish Seafarers and Seafaring Occupation 2010: A study of work-related attitudes during different stages of life at sea
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Kalmar Maritime Academy.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2856-0475
2012 (English)Collection (editor) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study of Swedish seafarers was to investigate attitudes, perceptions and work experiences in the seafaring occupation. The study was undertaken partly in response to the needs of the shipping industry to recruit and retain qualified Seafarers, and partly because of political ambitions to extend people’s working lives in general. The two main areas of enquiry were seafarers’ motivations to work for the specific shipping company (organizational commitment) and seafarers’ motivations for working in their particular occupation (occupational commitment). The study is based on survey responses from a sample of 1,309 seafarers taken from the Swedish Register of Seafarers.

The study has shown that the seafaring occupation has strong influence on identity construction and that job satisfaction is generally high. Seafarers enjoy and are motivated by their job content. The study also, however, observed a number of challenges for Swedish shipping. It emerged that flagging out – registration of ships abroad – impairs commitment to the particular shipping company and that perceptions of the social composition on board are one underlying cause. Specifically for older seafarers (55+), flagging-out also resulted in a distinct decline in commitment to the occupation in general. The cause in this case is the perceived inadequacy of the social security structure. Occupational commitment otherwise increases with age and seafarers in the oldest category appear to find the seafaring life unproblematic. In this respect, there is a clear difference compared to the youngest seafarers (aged 19-30), a large proportion of whom believe it is likely they will leave the occupation within the next few years.

The first two chapters of the report present the general aims of the study along with those aspects of shipping and the situations of seafarers in 2009-2010 relevant to the aims. The third chapter presents a selection of earlier Swedish maritime research. Work and commitment are discussed, based on theory and international studies, in the fourth chapter, where the study aims are also defined in greater detail. Chapter five presents the approach to data collection and processing. Results are reported and analyzed thereafter in three separate results chapters. In the final chapter, the most important results are brought to the fore and discussed along with associated recommendations and suggestions for future research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linnaeus University , 2012. , 207 p.
Kalmar Maritime Academy report / Linnaeus University, 1
Keyword [en]
Ageing, Employment commitment, Motivation, Occupational commitment, Organizational commitment, Seafarers, Work satisfaction
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-35796ISBN: 978-91-87427-58-9OAI: diva2:730758
Work and Ageing at Sea

Founded by Swedish Mercantile Foundation

Available from: 2014-06-30 Created: 2014-06-30 Last updated: 2016-09-20Bibliographically approved

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Hult, Carl
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