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”If you don't quite manage the job, it will be tough for you”: A qualitative study on chef culture and abuse in restaurant kitchens
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Media reports as well as existing (albeit limited) research suggest abusive work practices are common in restaurant kitchens. Kitchen abuse is explored in this case study, as ten experienced Swedish chefs were interviewed. Organisational culture theory is used to conceptualise the occupational culture of chefs, which is hypothesised to be of explanatory significance. The issue of abusive work practices is contrasted with workplace bullying literature. Results suggest abusive work practices do occur, but that certain rough jargon and authoritative management, that might be considered illegitimate in other workplace contexts, generally is expected and accepted among restaurant chefs. Contextual factors and the conditions of work, especially during intense service-periods, are thought to create certain demands on chefs, and particularly head chefs, that has formed various aspects of kitchen work. Chef culture seems adapted to these circumstances. A potential blind spot of the study is aspiring chefs that quit the profession shortly after entering. Not yet fully trained or accustomed to chef culture, this group faces an increased risk of ill-treatment, and they typically elude research. Overall, results suggest academic bullying concepts are problematic to apply on this case, and underscore the significance of contextual factors for understanding workplace abuse phenomena.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
workplace bullying, restaurants, chefs, organisational culture, kitchen culture, socialisation
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-121534OAI: diva2:859254
Available from: 2015-10-06 Created: 2015-10-06 Last updated: 2015-10-06Bibliographically approved

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