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Soutenances thèse


"Airhostesses’ Job Satisfaction: An exploration into its long-term dynamics and of the « Imaginary »

Job Satisfaction is a key concept in the Human Resources Management area that is heavily researched over the past many years by numerous researchers worldwide. This important concept of job satisfaction is many a times seen in a static way - that is, it is measured at one particular point in time. Also, measures of job satisfaction have been predominantly in terms of statistical approaches. However, little research has been performed to view job satisfaction in a continuous and a long-term perspective. What is more, many elements that are seen as antecedents to job satisfaction in previous researches, although seemingly psychological in nature, often does not seem to enter in-depth into any psychological perspective. This thesis is an attempt to address such perspectives. It argues that there is much to learn outside static and limited at a given moment of time approaches. A long-term perspective on job satisfaction provides complementary understandings, especially from a psychological point of view. For this thesis, the study was performed on air hostesses and stewards from two major airline organizations – Air France and Air India. The approach was qualitative and exploratory. Three series of in-depth interviews were conducted. The first series asked about job satisfaction and confirmed the interest in considering job satisfaction in the long run. As the literature was rare on such a perspective, we continued our exploration with life-cycle interviews, that allowed to reveal unexpected dynamics, such as the importance of contacts with the flying world before recruitment. Job satisfaction is dependent on mutual expectations of both hostesses and companies, which another field of literature, the one on psychological contract, enabled us to reflect and conceptualize. However, the existence of a psychological contract between the hostesses and the companies was not sufficient to understand certain mysteries and singular points. Based on the Lacanian perspective of Zizek (while acknowledging our limitations on this perspective), we have come to the conviction that continuous and long-term job satisfaction strongly depends on the ability of hostesses to sustain an "Imaginary" glance upon their activity As long as flight attendants can give meaning to their experience within a positive and rewarding "imaginary" - imaginary both received and constructed - they can retain a long-lasting job satisfaction. One of the main implications of this thesis may be that many current human resources policies in organizations seem to fail to take sufficient care to the strong "Imaginary" in some professions such as hostesses. Thus employees attribute meaning rather according to the "Symbolic" than the imaginary, and this can jeopardize, possibly irreversibly, their long-term job satisfaction. Organizations would benefit in taking care and in some way give a priority to boost and maintain the « imaginary ». This exploratory research has followed a series of turning points and, we hope, adds an additional, original perspective to think and manage job satisfaction

Jeayaram Subramanian -

Lieu de la soutenanceParis (46 rue Barrault 75013)

Date de la soutenance20/10/2017

Directeur de thèseJean-Luc Moriceau

Mots clésJob Satisfaction,Imaginary,psychological contract,Aviation industry