This study unveils the perceptions, real-life experiences and thought-processes of contract workers who dedicate their lives to the Christian faith, values and belief-system, but simultaneously endeavour to establish and follow a successful career in the volatile, cut-throat, non-Christian-based (“hedonistic”) occupational entertainment commerce. The researcher embarked on this study with a qualitative, interpretivist research approach. Data was gathered through in-depth, unstructured, face-to-face interviews with a sample of nine research participants. The sample consists of student entertainers; entertainers in the public eye, but not yet established; as well as entertainers who have successful established careers with loyal national and international audiences in the Entertainment Industry. The researcher explores and seeks to understand the core values and belief systems of the research participants with regards to their Christian religious orientation, which is statistically verified to be the most prevalent religious practise in South Africa (Nation Master, 2013; Religious affiliation by country, 2010). Hence, the research findings with regards to Christians’ approach and attitude towards their careers will contribute to a better understanding and management of the majority of the workforce in South Africa. Moreover, the expected norms, values and work ethic of the Entertainment Industry in South Africa are exposed in this study. Although existing literature upholds that the Entertainment Industry is an exceptionally unstable work environment compared to other corporate industries, this research study adds significantly to current literature as viable causes for the unstable occupational environment are also investigated and presented.
Previous research only addressed several aspects of the effect on one’s career advancement if an individual’s core value system differs from the accepted norms in an organisation or industry in general. This study subsequently reveals the personal- and occupational challenges that Christian entertainers encounter in an Entertainment Industry in South Africa and how they subsequently aim to decrease the cognitive dissonance that they experience due to continuous role conflict between moral obligation and the vital necessity for employment and career advancement. The findings of this study correlate with previous research as it indicates that the research participants will generally choose and prioritise their personal core values- and moral belief system above contradictory social and professional career demands and expectations.
Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2014.