Throughout this essay, a thorough analysis will be made in relation to specific research on cultures of work in a particular work place. The workplace that will be focused on throughout this essay is a ladies fashion boutique. The main argument will focus on discourses of management throughout the concepts of what is considered as work in the retail sector, how the working environment is managed throughout the fashion industry, commitment in the workplace and relationship of teamwork.
All these aspects of work will be tied in together to form a research based argument in relation to the fashion boutique. In order to produce a contextual remark of the notion of work, research will be based on primary research from an interview with the manager of the ladies fashion boutique and observations of the boutique. Throughout the use of the interviewing being incorporated into this essay, theoretical concepts and scholarly articles will be used to back up the focus on discourses of management within the perspective of what is considered as work in the work place.
Due to ethical reasons, I will be making reference to the manager of the boutique by the name of Anna.
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In reference to the notion of work within the ladies fashion boutique, before focusing n that, firstly a brief overview about the company, the workplace and what it provides to customers and the fashion industry. The ladies fashion company offers a diverse range of fashion clothing and accessories for contemporary Australian woman. The wide clothing range caters for women that are 25 years of age and up as well as offering sizes ranged from 8 to 16 to suit their individual needs.
The retail sector has become a significant focus throughout the fashion industry and the way work is structured around it. Work within the retail industry needs to be efficient in order to create a successful irking environment for both employees and customers. According to the United States Department of Labor, in their book on work, in relation to the retail sector, they claim that “whether selling shoes, computer equipment, or automobiles, retail salesperson assist customers in finding what they are looking for.
They also try to increase the sales by describing a product’s features, demonstrating its uses, and promoting its value” (2011, p. 543). Alternatively, in the case of this ladies fashion boutique, Anna and her team focus on forming a successful customer base and sell customers clothing in order to suit their needs. Within retail, the customer is always a significant factor. In order to meet the customer’s requirements, the notion of work by the employee needs to be efficient within the workplace in the way they sell and promote the particular product.
For instance; if an employee is selling a white linen dress from the fashion boutique to a customer, then in order to successfully sell that dress, they would need to ensure it is the correct size and style that suits that particular customer. However, this is why the discourse of work within retail is important as it becomes a process of service in work. Similarly, Erickson article focuses on the concept of ‘dance of service’, as he refers to the concept of it by using the example of a restaurant.
In his article, he mentions that “imagine the restaurant like a stage; the line between back and front is demarcated not by a curtain but rather the place where kitchen tile turns into dining room carpet” (2004, p. 77). In relation to the ladies fashion boutique, their act of service works in a similar motion. Interviewee, Anna was asked what their workplace was like at the boutique, she spooned by saying; “the physical space I work for is open plan and it is visible to the public. I work indoors and the store is based in a shopping centre surrounded by glass windows.
We have one computer at work which is used by all the team” (2011, Personal Interview). In reference to the response of the workplace in the fashion boutique, alternatively in relation to Erickson notion of ‘dance of service’, the workplace is held in a substantial open plan area and the employees work freely in order to move around to serve the customers, followed by processing the sale through the computer system. Ultimately, this notion of what is considered as work and how the working environment is managed also ties in with the notion of commitment within the workplace.
Commitment is an important factor of work which needs to be taken into consideration not only in the retail sector but within every working sector through various Jobs. In relation to the main argument of this essay in relation to cultures of work, commitment becomes a common theme of discourse throughout the culture of work within the fashion boutique, both in a theoretical framework and primary research taken from the manager of the boutique. To draw on primary research, the interviewee was asked about her role in the boutique and general working requirements.
She responded; “The work I do at the moment is in a managerial position at a fashion retail boutique, I work for a successful Australian manufacturer and retail company. The hours I work are 40 hours full time work a week and my hours do not change, however my working days do change. I have worked for the same employer for 8 years and I thoroughly enjoy the workplace that I work in and I am consistently committed to my work” (2011, Personal Interview). In addition to this,
Meyer and Allen in their book about commitment in the workplace claim that “the view that commitment is a psychological state that (a) characterizes the employee’s relationship with the organization, and (b) has implications for the decision to continue membership in the organization (1997, p. 1 1). Consequently, it is important to recognize that commitment in the workplace is essential. If you are going to work in a particular workplace, in relation to this essay; a ladies fashion boutique, then you need to ensure that you are committed to that work and what work is required of you o fill your daily Job requirements.
Evidently, when interviewee Anna was asked about the commitment towards the workplace, she responded by saying; “l work as a team, which I thoroughly enjoy. However, as I work in a fashion retail store, I need to wear the clothes that we sell in the store. In relation to commitment in our workplace, all team members are committed and the relationship that we have is important, of which is; honesty, reliability and friendliness” (2011, Personal Interview).
All these aspects that are addressed are reiterated through Meyer and Allen’s representation f commitment being labeled as three different components of which are: “affective, continuance and normative” (1997, p. 1 1). Through this, within the workplace it is important to understand that if you are commitment to your work then you belong within that particular organization. To break down these three different components in relation to the fashion boutique, this can be discussed through my observations of the workplace.
In relation to the affective component, this referred to the way the employees felt within the workplace and their involvement within the workplace environment (Meyer and Allen, 1997, p. 1). In relation to this, throughout the observations, employees at the ladies fashion boutique were committed and enthusiastic in assisting customers with their needs for fashion clothing (2011, Personal Observations). Similarly, as for the continuance component of commitment, this involves the cost within the workplace (Meyer and Allen, 1997, p. 1 1).
In reference to this, from the observations, the employees involved were not showing any sign of leaving the workplace. The employee’s commitment within the fashion boutique workplace was purely based on assisting the customers in buying and trying on loathes, daily paperwork involved within the Job and re – stocking of clothes out on the floor. Within the workplace there did not show to be any sign of employees working only for the factor of money, it was there passion for the Job and satisfying the customer’s needs (2011, Personal Observations).
Alternatively, the notion of normative commitment refers to the responsibility and requirements that are displayed from the employees in order to stay within the organization (Meyer and Allen, 1997, p. 1 1). In particular, it is referred to as the high level of responsibility that s required from both the manager and their employees. If the level of normative commitment is evidently high throughout the employees and the workplace then employees of the fashion boutique will feel the need to remain within the workplace.
Overall, in conjunction with all three of these components of commitment, it displays a thorough view on how commitment becomes an important factor within not only the fashion industry but also in any other workplace. Alternatively, within the workplace, alongside what is considered as work and the commitment of employees towards the workplace, teamwork is a significant factor hat falls under the concept of discourse of management within the working environment.
When working in an organization, in this case a fashion boutique, employees working together as a team in order to fulfill budget requirements as well as their customer service throughout the Job, this leads to creating a successful business and workplace environment. Interviewee, Anna was asked how her team worked within the fashion boutique. She responded by saying; “l mainly work with women and I work very closely with a great team, with each and every team member with different strengths towards the workplace” (2011, Personal Interview).
Similarly, through this, Managing in his book about effective team work claims that “working as a team has definite advantages for you as an employee, for your company, and you’re your customers. Most people have to learn new interpersonal and process skills to become involved, fully effective and contributing team members (1994, p. 2). In saying this, from Anna’s previous response in relation to how her team work within the boutique, I order to fulfill their goals, constant assistance is evident amongst all employees and they all help each other in the workplace to develop a safe, comfortable and successful environment.
Similarly, this leads to building a workplace of high morale. Ultimately, Brace’s article discusses the trust and respect that manager’s need to display towards their employees in order to ensure that there is unique performance by employees and a high employee morale continuously shown (2002, p. 10). Alternatively, within a workplace environment, if employers and their employees do not work well together in order to fulfill daily sales requirements, then conflict amongst employees could arise which could lead to employee resignation. Hence, effective teamwork in the workplace leads to a successful company within the detail fashion industry.
In reference to teamwork amongst the workplace, an additional quality aspect that ties in with the notion of team work is Job satisfaction amongst employees. According to Specter, “Job satisfaction is simply how people feel about their Jobs and different aspects of their Jobs. It is the extent to which people like (satisfaction) or dislike (dissatisfaction) their Jobs” (1997, p. 2). In relation to the fashion boutique, it has become evident from the responses of the interview that Anna is sufficiently happy and enjoying her Job as well as her employees.
The way she works with her employees builds an efficient morale within the workplace. The manager’s interaction towards fellow employees needs to be successful in a way to form a relationship bond with one another in the workplace. Throughout the notion of Job satisfaction, when working in either a fashion boutique or another particular workplace, attending work on a daily basis, you need to make sure that you feel satisfied about your Job and the people you are working with.
For instance; when selling a garment to a customer, you use your retail skills to communicate with the customer in order to sell her a garment. If the customer is satisfied and buys that particular garment then you as an employee will feel that your Job has been satisfied which will encourage you to work even better in the workplace. Ultimately, in relation to Job satisfaction, interviewee Anna answers her thoughts about it within her workplace.
She says; “In the years I have worked at this fashion boutique, myself and my employees have always been satisfied in the work we do and the acknowledgment we get from customer feedback is very positive. When we also sell over an average budget, we receive bonuses which we feel satisfied that we are working efficiently in the oracle” (2011, Personal Interview). In particular, this ties in with Specter’s view of job satisfaction, where the employees in the fashion boutique are highly content with their Jobs. In relation to Anna’s response to bonuses, they are a satisfying work incentive within the workplace.
For instance; when an employee sells over the required average sale budget, they may receive an incentive of a voucher to use towards garments within the store. It is a way of not only ensuring the employees are satisfied but that the employees feel that they are presenting successful takings for the company on a daily basis. Overall, a significant claim that McDowell makes in relation to this is the way “work itself is as much about the cultural production of employees as about the material production of goods and services” (2002, p. 06). In relation to the fashion boutique, employees would work together to produce the skills and knowledge required to sell the fashion and accessories to consumers. In conclusion, throughout this essay, it has become evident that there are various discourses of management within the workplace environment. Specifically, in relation the Ladies Fashion Clothing Boutique being the main case study throughout the above discussion in overall relation to the topic of cultures of work within the workplace environment.
Thorough contextual research has been analyses and discussed in relation to what is considered as work, commitment in the workplace and the notion of teamwork within the workplace, all in accordance to the above relevant case study. Evidently, inclusion of primary research methods from interview questions and observations of the workplace have thoroughly been put into context with theoretical concepts within cultures of work as well as consistent support from scholarly articles and books.