Online from: 1979
Subject Area: Human Resource Management
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|Title:||Are we having fun yet? A consideration of workplace fun and engagement|
|Author(s):||Sharon C. Bolton, (Strathclyde University Business School, Glasgow, UK), Maeve Houlihan, (University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland)|
|Citation:||Sharon C. Bolton, Maeve Houlihan, (2009) "Are we having fun yet? A consideration of workplace fun and engagement", Employee Relations, Vol. 31 Iss: 6, pp.556 - 568|
|Keywords:||Employee attitudes, Employee behaviour, Employee development, Employee involvement, Employee participation, Workplace|
|DOI:||10.1108/01425450910991721 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
|Acknowledgements:||The authors would like to thank Professor John Gennard, Professor Dennis Nickson, and all the editorial team for the opportunity to develop this Special Issue, and of course Nancy Rolph at Emerald and Linda Brisbane at Strathclyde for their warm communication and encouraging editorial advice. Sincere thanks are due to all authors who responded to the call, to the saintly reviewers who submitted very helpful feedback, and to each of the final contributors to this Special Issue for their hard work, enthusiasm, and very patient responses to our many requests. The Guest Editors would also like to thank the steering group and participants of the International Labour Process Conference, where the idea for the Special Issue was first nurtured, and for many helpful comments on our initial presentation of arguments made at ILPC 2007 in Amsterdam, and to all those who took part in the subsequent “Fun at Work” stream at ILPC 2008 in Dublin.|
Purpose – This extended editorial to the Special Issue “Are we having fun yet? A consideration of workplace fun and engagement” aims to review the current debates on organised “fun at work” and to suggest a framework for understanding workplace fun and employee engagement. The papers included in the Special Issue are also to be introduced.
Design/methodology/approach – The editorial review asks for an approach that offers a critical appraisal and sets the latest move towards fun at work within the context of the material realties of work.
Findings – A review of contemporary debates on fun at work reveals a predominantly prescriptive focus on attempts to engage employees through fun activities that oversimplifies the human dynamism involved in the employment relationship. The editorial suggests that we need to consider the motivations, processes and outcomes of managed fun at work initiatives and to consider employees' reactions in terms of “shades of engagement” that detail how people variously
Research limitations/implications – The suggested framework for understanding workplace fun and employee engagement offers opportunities for empirical testing.
Practical implications – Understanding workplace fun and the work that it does, and does not do, offers opportunities to improve relationships between employees and between employees and the organisation.
Originality/value – The editorial and Special Issue overall offers an important contribution to the ongoing fun at work and employee engagement debate and opens up avenues for further exploration and discussion.
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