A study of the occupational self-image of service employees employed in restaurants in Aruba

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Hospitality Management

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair


Restaurants, Aruba, Employees, Attitudes, Job satisfaction

Date of Defense



One reason for the restaurant industry's myriad personnel problems is implicit in the paucity of research dealing with food service personnel# A number of studies suggest that the physical and psychological needs of the food service worker are grossly neglected.

This is a study to provide current data descriptive of the occupational self-image of service personnel employed in restaurants in Aruba, and provide a beginning exploration of selected components of their occupational self-images.

The design was formulated to answer three broad questions: (l) What are the characteristics of self-image of service personnel employed in restaurants in Aruba? (2) Is the occupational self-image of these employees positive or negative?, and (3) What are the possible implications of the characteristics of these restaurant service personnel?

One hundred and sixty-five employees were interviewed covering the two restaurant categories: the free standing and the restaurants that are part of hotel operations. The questionnaire utized contained six instruments designed to describe or measure selected aspects of the occupational self-image of these restaurant employees. A Likert-type scale was constructed to measure the restaurant service personnel over-all occupational self-image. This scale was then utilized to explore the relationship between each of the components of the occupational self-image and its association with more positive and more negative occupational self-images.

The over-all occupational self-images of the restaurant service personnel were found to be quite positive. This finding is supported by previous empirical investigations. The findings contradict the impression gained from simplistic and often erroneous "hear-say ". The occupational self-image appears to be a complex concept which summarizes a variety of attitudes and cannot be inferred or measured on the basis of one aspect of an occupation.



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