Every company has an organisational culture and it is widely accepted that some are better than others and that employers have the right, indeed the duty, to shape the working environment so that it is pleasant and profitable.
After a year spent studying the day to day working of staff in a British Bank, the ethnographer John Weeks found that what dominated the bank’s work culture was complaining and that though griping was endemic in every department, and at every level, it seldom led to any alteration in the ways things were done.
But, as John Weeks explains to Laurie Taylor, he believes his findings can be interpreted as good news for the company. Breaking down complaints into different categories he reveals how complaining performs a useful social function and that staff moans may display an affinity for rather than alienation from the organisation they work for.
WORK and HAPPINESS
In Global terms how comparatively happy are the British at work? Laurie Taylor discusses job satisfaction and happiness with Andrew Oswald, Professor of Economics at Warwick University.
John R. Weeks
Assistant Professor of Organizational Behaviour, INSEAD
Unpopular Culture: The Ritual of Complaint in a British Bank
University of Chicago Press (to be published in January 2004)
Professor Andrew Oswald
Professor of Economics at Warwick University
Selected papers (more papers are available on Professor Oswald’s website)
Well-being over time in Britain and the USA
with David Blanchflower
(Forthcoming – Journal of Public Economics)
Are you happy at Work? Job satisfaction and work-life balance in the US and Europe
(November 2002 - talk)
Happiness and Economic Performance
(Economic Journal 1997)
Other book mentioned by Laurie Taylor:
In Search of Excellence: lessons from America’s Best-run Companies
Tom Peters, Robert H.Waterman
Profile Business ISBN 1861975945
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