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Zero Hours Contracts and Their Perceived Impact On Job Motivation of Event Catering Staff

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Catering is a cornerstone of events. Motivating catering staff, who can be either permanent or "hourly paid" employees, represents an important managerial challenge, especially in the UK, where controversial zero hours contracts (ZHCs) prevail within the events industry. This article reports a representative case study of a London-based event catering company that relies upon ZHCs. In pursuit of corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals, directed at enhancing the well-being of employees and improving corporate image, the company considers replacing ZHCs with alternative contracts, but wishes to examine the potential impact of this intervention first. To aid in decision making, 18 indepth, semistructured interviews are conducted with company's managers and employees to examine the drivers of staff motivation and the perceived effect of ZHCs. The study finds that interpersonal relationships, remuneration rates, and perceived fairness of managerial treatment drive staff motivation in event catering. The major positive (flexibility and no mutual obligation) and negative (job insecurity and instable income) implications of ZHCs are well understood by employees. The internal (personal finances, family status, and individual lifestyles) and environmental (current job market situation and managerial abilities) circumstances determine the level of preparedness and the degree of willingness of event catering staff to accept ZHCs. Implications for policy making, professional practice, and future research are discussed.
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Keywords: CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY; EVENT CATERING; JOB MOTIVATION; RESPONSIBLE HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT; ZERO HOURS CONTRACTS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2020

This article was made available online on March 21, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "ZERO-HOURS CONTRACTS AND THEIR PERCEIVED IMPACT ON JOB MOTIVATION OF EVENT CATERING STAFF".

More about this publication?
  • Event Management, an International Journal, intends to meet the research and analytic needs of a rapidly growing profession focused on events. This field has developed in size and impact globally to become a major business with numerous dedicated facilities, and a large-scale generator of tourism. The field encompasses meetings, conventions, festivals, expositions, sport and other special events. Event management is also of considerable importance to government agencies and not-for-profit organizations in a pursuit of a variety of goals, including fund-raising, the fostering of causes, and community development.
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