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Beyond a Paycheck - Employment as an Act of Consumption for Gen Y Talents

Jonas, Laura and Kortenius, Rebecca LU (2014) BUSN39 20141
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
Purpose: This master thesis aims at bridging the distinct notions of production and consumption by investigating how well-established consumption frameworks gain significance in the employment world. Therefore, we ask how Gen Y talents experience their jobs as commodities and act as consumers in the workplace as a reaction to this comodification. The purpose of this paper is to gain a general understanding of how students and recent graduates consume their work.

Conclusion: We conclude that even those areas of our daily life that have previously been distinctly separated, such a employment, can now be viewed from a consumption standpoint. Employees experience and construct employment as a commodity, where jobs are packaged, priced,... (More)
Purpose: This master thesis aims at bridging the distinct notions of production and consumption by investigating how well-established consumption frameworks gain significance in the employment world. Therefore, we ask how Gen Y talents experience their jobs as commodities and act as consumers in the workplace as a reaction to this comodification. The purpose of this paper is to gain a general understanding of how students and recent graduates consume their work.

Conclusion: We conclude that even those areas of our daily life that have previously been distinctly separated, such a employment, can now be viewed from a consumption standpoint. Employees experience and construct employment as a commodity, where jobs are packaged, priced, placed and promoted by capitalist means to sell employers’ offerings to current and potential hires. Employees further see themselves as active consumers in the workplace that choose what they want to do and who they want to do it for. We found that they assume the three primary consumer roles of communicator, hedonist and identity-seeker in the workplace.

Theoretical contribution: This paper offers new insights into how consumer frameworks can be applied to areas that have previously not been investigated as areas of consumption, namely the workplace. We therewith extend the relevance of consumption practices and suggest that consumer culture is even encroaching on the productive side of our life.

Managerial implications: We see this research topic as especially important for employers, who can gain a new understanding of how employees and job-hunters see themselves as consumers in the work environment. It can either provide insights into how offerings can be better marketed or how the offerings have to be changed to appeal to this new type of empowered and demanding consumer. It might also assist students and recent graduates in understanding their position in the employer-employee relationship better and therewith help them to find a job that matches their demands best.

Suggestion for future research: Since the research in this field is in an early phase, there are a lot of additional questions that can be asked. We are particularly interested in how this consumption of work differs between various target groups, such as Gen Y and Gen X or highly educated and less educated employees. We further suggest a longitudinal study to explore how the consumer roles of employees change throughout their life time. Moreover, a critical stance could be taken to explore the negative effects of consumption of the workplace for employees. (Less)
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author
Jonas, Laura and Kortenius, Rebecca LU
supervisor
organization
course
BUSN39 20141
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
language
English
id
4456566
date added to LUP
2014-06-25 15:54:52
date last changed
2014-06-25 15:54:52
@misc{4456566,
  abstract     = {Purpose: This master thesis aims at bridging the distinct notions of production and consumption by investigating how well-established consumption frameworks gain significance in the employment world. Therefore, we ask how Gen Y talents experience their jobs as commodities and act as consumers in the workplace as a reaction to this comodification. The purpose of this paper is to gain a general understanding of how students and recent graduates consume their work.

Conclusion: We conclude that even those areas of our daily life that have previously been distinctly separated, such a employment, can now be viewed from a consumption standpoint. Employees experience and construct employment as a commodity, where jobs are packaged, priced, placed and promoted by capitalist means to sell employers’ offerings to current and potential hires. Employees further see themselves as active consumers in the workplace that choose what they want to do and who they want to do it for. We found that they assume the three primary consumer roles of communicator, hedonist and identity-seeker in the workplace.

Theoretical contribution: This paper offers new insights into how consumer frameworks can be applied to areas that have previously not been investigated as areas of consumption, namely the workplace. We therewith extend the relevance of consumption practices and suggest that consumer culture is even encroaching on the productive side of our life.

Managerial implications: We see this research topic as especially important for employers, who can gain a new understanding of how employees and job-hunters see themselves as consumers in the work environment. It can either provide insights into how offerings can be better marketed or how the offerings have to be changed to appeal to this new type of empowered and demanding consumer. It might also assist students and recent graduates in understanding their position in the employer-employee relationship better and therewith help them to find a job that matches their demands best.

Suggestion for future research: Since the research in this field is in an early phase, there are a lot of additional questions that can be asked. We are particularly interested in how this consumption of work differs between various target groups, such as Gen Y and Gen X or highly educated and less educated employees. We further suggest a longitudinal study to explore how the consumer roles of employees change throughout their life time. Moreover, a critical stance could be taken to explore the negative effects of consumption of the workplace for employees.},
  author       = {Jonas, Laura and Kortenius, Rebecca},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Beyond a Paycheck - Employment as an Act of Consumption for Gen Y Talents},
  year         = {2014},
}