Enchanting Work: New Spirits of Service Work in an Organic Supermarket

Endrissat, Nada; Islam, Gazi; Noppeney, Claus (2015). Enchanting Work: New Spirits of Service Work in an Organic Supermarket Organization Studies, 36(11), pp. 1555-1576. 10.1177/0170840615593588

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Drawing from a qualitative, empirical study of work experiences in a North American organic supermarket, we introduce the notion of ‘enchanting work’, a polyvalent concept referring to the aura found in certain forms of service work in contrast to the disenchantment commonly associated with it. Enchanting work, because of its unique stance vis-a-vis workplace critique and commitment, can inform the study of work by moving beyond the dichotomy of meaningful versus alienated work. Our findings show how enchanting work can be found on three different levels to (1) infuse otherwise mundane work processes with meaning, (2) obscure organizational control mechanisms and divert attention from precarious work conditions, and (3) recruit the participation of workers for creating an enchanted workplace. We discuss the implications of our results for understanding contemporary worlds of work and explore both the emancipatory and ideological ramifications of enchanting work.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


Business School > Institute for New Work > New Forms of Work and Organisation
Business School


Endrissat, Nada0000-0002-4758-8441;
Islam, Gazi and
Noppeney, Claus






Nada Endrissat

Date Deposited:

30 Jan 2019 07:45

Last Modified:

17 Mar 2021 21:45

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

alienation, authenticity, creativity, critical management studies, enchantment, retail, services, supermarket, work





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