For Passion Or Profit? A Study Of Work Attitudes And Life Satisfaction

Ellen Sofie Stensberg & Katrine Christiansen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This study investigates how one’s approach to work can affect one’s general satisfaction. Furthermore, the study contributes to existing literature by providing a multilateral approach to the research on why individuals work, as the researchers examine how identity and culture influence one’s reasons for working and ultimately how one approaches work. The researchers study this with the UK wine industry as the pivotal point of research. Drawing from data gathered through interviews with individuals from the wine industry, the researchers propose a certain script of semantic patterns that describes what it is like to work in the industry. This script is further validated by means of the researchers having conducted participant observations within two companies in the industry over a four-month period. Moreover, the script is validated by the researchers’ ethnographic fieldnotes from an event in the industry. Using this data, the researchers first analyze the identities of the individuals within the industry; through learning the culture, individuals within the wine industry start to identify according to their occupations. Following this, the researchers analyze the culture within the industry; it is argued that there is a number of shared artifacts, values, and assumptions within the industry, and that these have affected the identities of the members of the industry. Moreover, the culture has changed over time with regard to a number of aspects, amongst other things as a result of new individuals entering the industry. Thus, these two concepts are interrelated and affected by one another. Finally, based on these analyses, the researchers analyze the approach to work amongst the individuals within the industry; they have shared reasons for working and feel motivated to work because they find it compelling and satisfying. Ultimately, it is determined that individuals within the wine industry approach work as their Calling. All of these analyses contribute to a view of the individuals within the wine industry as being very satisfied with their lives. The analyses of the identities of the members and the culture in the industry prove that the culture values an appreciation of one’s job and of the industry in general, and that the individuals are happy with their jobs and the industry. Moreover, the analysis of the individuals’ approaches to work proves that they are living their Calling which is argued to increase life satisfaction. These findings are discussed with regard to how the concepts all influence each other and how this has affected the outcome of the study. Furthermore, the findings are discussed by means of a comparable study with a considerably different approach to studying work attitudes. The other study investigates individuals who are miserable at their jobs, thus, the study is used to validate the findings from the present study. Finally, the researchers conclude that work can increase one’s life satisfaction when one approaches work as a Calling. Moreover, it is concluded that one’s identity and the culture one finds oneself in influence life satisfaction, and thus, one’s approach to work too.

EducationsCand.ling.merc Erhvervssprog og International Erhvervskommunikation (Multikulturel Kommunikation i Organisationer), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2019
Number of pages130
SupervisorsDaniel Souleles