Dennis Nickson

Dennis Nickson
University of Strathclyde · Department of Human Resource Management

PhD University of Strathclyde

About

81
Publications
101,577
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3,039
Citations
Additional affiliations
February 1996 - present
University of Strathclyde
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • Professor Dennis Nickson's has extensively researched work and employment issues in interactive service work. He is one of the team – along with Professor Chris Warhurst and the late Professor Anne Wtiz – who developed the concept of aesthetic labour.

Publications

Publications (81)
Article
Purpose This study aims to examine customer misbehaviour in the hospitality sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. Design/methodology/approach The study draws on a cross-sectional survey of employees in the Scottish hospitality sector highlighting customer misbehaviour as a key concern during the pandemic. Prevalent types of abuse and harassment exp...
Book
Full-text available
This accessible and exciting new text looks at the implications of aesthetic labour for work and employment by contextualizing debates and offering a critical approach. The origins of aesthetic labour are explored, as well as the relevant theories from business and management, and sociology. Coverage includes key topics such as: corporate strategy;...
Chapter
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Research
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The purpose of this paper is to determine the influence of compagnies product market strategies, in-company and external structural factors on skill levels, work organisation, job design and people management systems. This project was funded by the Economic and Social Science research Council
Chapter
In 1992, Michael Gottlieb, at the time the proprietor of a well-known London restaurant, wrote in a letter to the Caterer and Hotelkeeper that
Article
This article considers skill requirements in retail work, drawing on the example of high-end fashion retailing. It considers debates about the required ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ skills for such work. Drawing on Cockburn’s typology – skill residing in the worker; in what is required to perform a job; and as a socially constructed political concept – it seek...
Article
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Using mixed design analysis of variance (ANOVA), this paper investigates the effects of a subtle simulated increase in adiposity on women's employment chances in the service sector. Employing a unique simulation of altering individuals' BMIs and the literature on "aesthetic labour", the study suggests that, especially for women, being heavier, but...
Article
Using mixed design analysis of variance, this paper examines the effect of body art on job applicant hireability ratings. It employs the literatures on the social psychologies of stigma and prejudice, as well as aesthetic labor, to frame the argument. The results indicate that photos of tattooed and pierced job applicants result in lower hireabilit...
Article
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Recent research by Adler and Adler reveals contradictory claims about the job quality of hotel room attendants; suggesting that an objectively ‘bad’ job can be perceived as subjectively ‘good’ by workers. This contradiction resonates with wider issues about how job quality is conceived – objectively and/or subjectively. Drawing on empirical researc...
Article
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This article addresses the contribution of the policy formulation process in driving agendas relating to workforce development in the tourism sectors of Australia and Scotland. This discussion represents an exploratory study that seeks to fill a clear conceptual and empirical gap in the extant literature. The discussion is located within wider cons...
Article
With the increasing number of teaching and classroom assistants across the UK there is now much debate about what their role should be. In particular concerns have arisen about the extent to which they overstep the boundary from supporting teaching and learning into teaching pupils. This study assesses this issue within Scotland. It draws on a nati...
Article
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Drawing on archival data of employment discrimination from the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission in Australia, this article examines the issue of employee looks, women and lookism in interactive service work. From existing research on emotional and aesthetic labour, lookism might be expected to occur primarily in services and...
Article
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This article contributes to ongoing debates about soft skills in front-line interactive service work in considering employability in the UK retail sector. It recognizes how UK government policy has emphasized the importance of qualifications in enhancing employability. However, it suggests that for front-line work in retail it is soft skills that a...
Article
Centred on classroom assistants in Scotland, this article examines the process by which an occupation dominated by female workers becomes under‐valued. The qualitative data reveals the cognitive errors made by the key actors - government, employers and unions in this process.
Article
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Purpose – This paper aims to consider the impact of the European Union procurement regulations. It assesses the impact of the re-tendering of services on the terms and conditions of employment and sense of well being, and commitment of employees in the social care sub-sector of the voluntary sector. Design/methodology/approach – The study employs a...
Chapter
Employment relations envelop a set of material practices and a way of looking at those practices. Both are dynamic; what is regarded as a feature of employment relations and how those employment relations are studied changes over time. For example, if employees were once paid ‘danger money’, now there are health and safety regulations to minimize w...
Article
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This special issue of the journal focuses on the topic of service work and gender. The theme for this special issue arose out of a stream on service work and gender at the 2005 Gender Work and Organization conference. In many respects this special edition can be considered as complementary to an earlier special edition on gender and service work th...
Article
This article examines sexualized work and, more particularly, how and why, at the organizational level in interactive services, employees become sexualized labour. In doing so it assesses the thin line between selling a service and selling sexuality. The analysis revisits existing literature on emotional labour, organizational aesthetics and workpl...
Article
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The voluntary sector in Scotland, as in many other countries, is becoming increasingly business like. Resultantly, there is an increasing demand for graduates to work in business and support functions. In Scotland, however, despite an oversupply of graduates in the labor market, the voluntary sector reports skills shortages for graduate-level posit...
Conference Paper
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This paper focuses on the perceptions, expectations and experiences of full-time students studying a CIPD-accredited Postgraduate Diploma/MSc in Human Resource Management. Drawing on survey, focus group and interview data the paper considers students perceptions of the role of HR, how their views changed during the course of the academic year, thei...
Article
The voluntary sector is an important source of employment in the UK and is increasingly providing services previously provided by the public sector. However, the ability of the sector to provide such services is dependent on the quantity and quality of suitable labour. This article examines recruitment issues in seven case-study voluntary organisat...
Article
As part of the hospitality sector, the hotel industry is a significant contributor to the United Kingdom's economy. Although estimates are difficult because of a lack of definitive statistics, the hotel industry's annual turnover was as high as £27 billion (US$52.5 billion) in 2006, according to the British Hospitality Association (Caterer and Hote...
Chapter
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From Banff to Bath in the UK, from the Irish Times to the Italian Il Corriere della Sera across Europe, 'aesthetic labour' caught the popular imagination when a short research monograph was released in 1999 (see Warhurst, Nickson,Witz, & Cullen, 2000). Aesthetic labour, in different 'populist' appellations, continues to feature in the press, has be...
Article
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A re-conceptualization of the work and employment of interactive service and the workers who inhabit these jobs is required, not least because routine interactive services will provide most job growth in the UK for the foreseeable future (Wilson et al., 2004). This article initiates that task, arguing that it can be understood by reference to aesth...
Article
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Interactive service job growth in the UK is significant.Analysis of labour within these services has tended to focus on employee attitudes, framed through emotional labour. Such analysis is not incorrect, just partial. Some employers also demand aesthetic labour, or employees with particular embodied capacities and attributes that appeal to the sen...
Article
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Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to compare employment relations in the hotel industry in Australia and the UK. Australian industry employment is regulated by the state and union recognition is enshrined. A substantial proportion of Australian hotel employers engage directly in firm-level bargaining with trade unions, with unionisation rates a...
Article
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Purpose – For service organisations the interaction between front-line personnel and the customer is crucial as they aim to create high quality service encounters. Much research has focused on attempts by organisations to inculcate the “right” kind of attitude in their front-line employees. This paper seeks to extend this analysis by pointing to th...
Article
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The number of lone parents has increased considerably in recent years and the UK Labour Government has reacted by encouraging them to move from welfare and into work. This group face multi-dimensional and complex barriers to employment that the government has attempted to rectify through the introduction of various initiatives such as the National...
Article
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This paper considers a so far unappreciated sector of the labour market – lone parents. The number of lone parents has increased dramatically in recent years. Consideration of lone parents allows for a discussion of two key issues within the contemporary labour market: the attempts by government to increase the number of lone parents in work; and r...
Chapter
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Previous research in the area of ‘aesthetic labour’ has suggested that ‘aesthetic skills’ are important in interactive service work, such as retail and hospitality. To-date, research on aesthetic labour has merely pointed to the existence of aesthetic skills, but there has been no real attempt to examine the extent of the demand for such skills. Th...
Article
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Debates about the nature of work, employment and skill formation in the 'new' economy have, to date, neglected the notion of 'aesthetic labour'. Identification by us of this 'new' form of labour provides the basis to review some of the implications in relation to skill acquisition and usage, current training provision and social exclusion as it eff...
Article
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This article develops the conceptualization and analysis of aesthetic labour in two parts. The first part focuses on conceptualizing aesthetic labour. We critically revisit the emotional labour literature, arguing that the analysis of interactive service work is impeded by the way in which its corporeal aspects are retired and that, by shifting the...
Article
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In the style labour market, employers require a matrix of skills - technical, social and aesthetic. The first is provided ,,in-house”, the middle and thedast filtered into companies through recruitment and selection processes. It is the middle and last skills that are encompassed by the term person to person skills. For employers, however, the aest...
Article
This article examines the issue of air rage. Attempting to define and identify the extent of this phenomenon provides the context in which to review contributory factors. The analysis of violence or aggression directed at flight attendants is developed with recourse to the work of Poyner and Warne, who offer a framework for understanding violence t...
Chapter
There is currently much debate and discussion about the globalisation of the world’s economy. Much of this rhetoric, however, has little empirical purchase. A range of studies have questioned both the ontology and epistemology of globalisation (for a review of this literature, see Warhurst et al., 1998). These authors conclude that the epistemology...
Article
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This article is concerned with an important but so far under-appreciated and unexplored form of labour in interactive service work. This feature is termed by us as 'aesthetic labour'. We define such labour as a supply of embodied capacities and attributes possessed by workers at the point of entry into employment. Employers then mobilise, develop a...
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A globalizáció minden térnyerése ellenére a nemzetközi üzleti élet inkább multinacionális, mint transznacionális (globális) jellegű. Ezen sem a kereskedelem nemzetközi, sem a beruházások határokon átnyúló volta lényegében nem sokat változtat.
Article
Recent speculation on whether the Government may seek to enforce a total ban on smoking in the UK’s bars and restaurants has reignited a long standing debate about the commercial impact of such a decision. Running alongside these considerations is the health and safety question and the possible harmful consequences for those working in smoky enviro...
Article
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This paper reports on the results of a three year project examining the processes of internationalisation in two sectors: commercial vehicles and international hotel chains. Through case studies of leading firms it explores a relatively neglected feature of debate: the comparative analysis of manufacturing and services. It focuses on some of the di...
Article
Argues for more real and in-depth understanding of the industry - theoretical and conceptual interpretations of human resource management issues - to be provided to students before operational and presumptive models. Suggests that students are currently uncritical perpetuators of the status quo rather than effective and thinking would-be managers r...
Article
Recent years have seen a number of key trends emerging in the international hotel industry, particularly the rise of non-American companies. Whether this delineates the decline of American hegemony of the international hotel industry is relatively under-theorised. This paper explores this notion via a description of the development of the internati...
Article
Companies increasingly seek solutions to the corporate/local dichotomies perceived to be a feature of more traditional approaches to managing across national boundaries. At the human resource level, the rhetoric of transnationalism emphasizes integration being achieved through 'soft' mechanisms, such as corporate culture devices, which encourage al...
Article
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In an attempt to encourage employee discretion and self-direction many luxury international hotels are turning to employee empowerment strategies as a solution. These are based on the assumption that 'most employess can make good decisions if they are properly socialised, trained and informed. They can be internally motivated to perform effectively...
Article
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This paper suggests that the lack of a comprehensive, systematic, or rigorous historical study of the growth of the corporate hospitality sector can be partially rectified by a review of the auto/biographies of several leading hospitality entrepreneurs. With recognition of both the advantages and clear limits of such an approach the paper argues th...
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Books reviewed: Employment with Human Face: Balancing Efficiency, Equity, and Voice by John W. Budd. ILR Press, an imprint of Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London, 2004. Workplace Justice Without Unions by Hoyt B. Wheeler, Brian S. Klaas and Douglas M. Mahony. W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 2004. The Blue...

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