Boredom at Work and Job Monotony: An Exploratory Case Study within the Catering Sector

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This article presents an exploratory study that examines workplace boredom in monotonous catering-sector jobs. It investigates whether boredom is associated with monotonous tasks and explores strategies for minimizing it. Data were collected from multiple sources that included observation, company documentation, and interviews with management and unskilled staff engaged in simple, repetitive work in the catering department of a British university. The findings indicate that there is no linkage between boredom and monotonous tasks, and that job rotation and management support are the two key organizational mechanisms used to support the work of catering personnel. The reasons for the absence of boredom were found to be related to the workers’ job requirements, their interest in doing their jobs, the organization's strategies for alleviating workplace boredom, and the time lag of the tasks. The implications for human resource development (HRD) are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-236
Number of pages30
JournalHuman Resource Development Quarterly
Issue number2
Early online date26 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • boredom, human resource development (HRD), Investors in People (IIP), monotony, training

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