Aesthetic labour : beauty in the eye of the brand

Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2013
Thesis identifier
  • T13356
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • The research discussed in this thesis examines the area of 'aesthetic labour' and its use by organisations in the interactive service sector to increase business success. In simple terms, aesthetic labour refers to 'looking good and sounding right' and it is important to note that it is not limited to physical appearance but also incorporates accent, attitude and class status. Research into this area is still relatively new and has been generally focused on establishing the extent of the phenomenon and theorising the concept. The research described seeks to add to the growing field of study around how aesthetic labour is recruited, selected, trained and moulded in the hospitality context, using a case study approach. Data was collected through a series of interviews with members of the management team at a long established four star hotel in Glasgow. This data was augmented by an interview with the general manager of another hotel located in the same city. The data was gathered in answer to the research question "are aesthetic and brand considerations integrated into formal human resource activities in interactive service organisations, and if so, to what degree?" The research findings demonstrate that while aesthetic considerations do play a role in formal HR practises, they do not inform the core activities unduly, with the exception of grooming and dress code policies.
Resource Type
Date Created
  • 2013
Former identifier
  • 972687