Food as a factor to ensure organization’s internal sustainability - A study of Swedish employees’ perceptions and expectation regarding food at work

University essay from Malmö universitet/Kultur och samhälle

Abstract: The integration of food in the organization’s culture is a new approach and raising strategy among global companies to enhance employees’ well-being and satisfaction, and thus ensure organization’s internal social and financial sustainability. In this context, the purpose of this research was to explore the connection between food and organizational culture throughout employees’ perception and expectation of food at work. Thus, a qualitative study had been conducted and empirical data had been collected through semi-structured interviews with professionals working in medium/large-sized and public/private organizations based in Sweden. Additionally, a theoretical framework that consists of Schein’s Multi-Layered Organizational Culture Model, Competing Values Framework and Sustainable Well-being Productivity Synergy had been developed to analyze and interpret the collected empirical data. As a result, six main themes emerged from the collected data: 1) Organizational structure around food; 2) Food within the Organization’s environment; 3) Food options within the organization; 4) Dynamics around food within the organization; 5) Influence duality within the organization; 6) Organization’s culture and food. The first mayor finding was that there are evidences extracted from the interviews that connect food to the Swedish organization’s culture. The second finding demonstrated that Swedish organizations assessed, incentive employees through food initiatives such as providing breakfast, coffee break or nutritious and healthy food to the employees. The last main finding was that food-related influence duality exists between organizations and employees, and Swedish culture and organizations. Thus, food was found relevant at the workplace in different levels for most of the people interviewed for this study. The findings demonstrated, through employees’ perceptions and expectations, that food strategies appear relevant for satisfying employees, strengthening internal culture and ensuring internal social and financial sustainability.

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