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Spreading Hospitality Inwards: An empirical investigation of worker treatment in the Hospitality Sector in Ireland.

February 19, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Speaker(s): Dr Deirdre Curran

Affiliation: Work, Organizations and Society

Organised by: Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change, NUI Galway

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According to the Hospitality Skills Oversight Group report (2018), this sector contributes €5 billion to the Irish economy, through 18,400 enterprises, employing almost 180,000 workers. Food For Thought [an on-line resource for the hospitality sector and an ‘official publication’ of the Restaurant’s Association of Ireland] identified ‘staff recruitment and retention’ as one of five top business challenges facing hospitality leaders in 2018. While there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence of hospitality being a challenging work environment, there is an absence of solid, empirical, independent evidence. This seminar highlights the findings of a comprehensive and unique project investigating the treatment of hospitality workers in Ireland. Drawing on a dual survey-interview method the study explores aspects of worker treatment from employment rights, to experiences of bullying and harassment, to opportunities for voice etc. Drawing on employment relations theory generally, and Budd and Bhave’s (2008) ‘frames of reference’ in particular, the project aims to provide evidence of worker treatment in hospitality, to use theoretical lens’s to make sense of the data, ultimately informing policy and practice in this sector. The scant evidence that exists in Ireland on this issue is persuasive enough to indicate a need for a deeper, more comprehensive look at worker treatment in the sector and this is the primary proposal presented in this seminar.

This is one of a series of seminars in the Whitaker Ideas Forum. Deirdre will be representing the Work, Organizations and Society research cluster.







The Whitaker Ideas Forum is a weekly seminar, running Wednesday’s throughout the semester from 1:00pm-2:00pm in CA110. It provides the opportunity for members of the Institute to showcase their research. The result are presentations that highlight the diversity of the research being undertaken, while allowing for an opportunity to engage in discussions and, sometimes, collaboration with attendees. Below, you will find a list of this semester’s seminars, please click the title for more information on that seminar.

Date Presenter Seminar Topic


Research Cluster

22 January Professor Kate Kenny Whistleblowing Persistence: A struggle for recognition Work, Organizations and Society
29 January Dr Eoin Daly Legislating against minority governments: Ireland’s “money message” procedure as an instrument of executive dominance Conflict, Humanitarianism and Security
05 February Dr Elaine Wallace Investigating Burnout as a mediator between Organisational Citizenship and Counterproductive Workplace Behaviours among Frontline Employees. Performance Management
12 February Visiting Professor Juan Miguel Rey Pino Social marketing for the public good: lessons and practical examples from Pracademia in Spain and Latin America. Applied Systems Thinking
19 February Dr Deirdre Curran Spreading Hospitality Inwards: An empirical investigation of worker treatment in the Hospitality Sector in Ireland. Work, Organizations and Society
26 February Dr Kevin O’Sullivan Aidland in South Asia: Humanitarian Crisis in Bangladesh and the Contours of the Global Aid Industry in the 1970s Conflict, Humanitarianism and Security
04 March A conversation with Professor Breda Sweeney
11 March Dr John Cullinan Is Mammography Screening an Effective Public Health Intervention? Evidence from a Natural Experiment Population and Migration
18 March Conversations with our Professors TBA
25 March Dr Alison Herbert How does place influence the ageing and quality of life of older women in Connemara and rural Sweden? Gender and Public Policy
01 April Visiting Professor Bernie Carlson TBA Innovation and Structural Change