Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Management and Marketing - Faculty of Commerce


This thesis presents a grounded theory study of the Australian Film Industry. The study set out to examine the performance effectiveness of production workers in the Australian Film Industry. Following the guidelines of grounded theory it became evident that there was an issue existing within the Australian Film Industry regarding career commitment. This issue arose because, while film workers felt they work very hard putting up with harsh work conditions, they perceived their rewards to be inadequate and not commensurate with their work efforts. This study looks at a case of career commitment in the Australian Film Industry. It examines what factors exist in the Australian Film Industry to commit workers to the industry despite the existence of inhibiting factors. This study finds eight career commitment factors which work to maintain worker commitment to the industry. These factors – job satisfaction, self-esteem, Hollywood factor, collegiality, autonomy, cost of leaving, volition and roles states – work individually and in combination to provide worker equity and thus facilitate career commitment in the Australian Film Industry. This research makes a contribution to knowledge in several ways. Firstly, the research fills a large gap in the research literature, as very few organisational researchers have studied the film industry in general, and the Australian industry in particular. Fewer still have examined career commitment. Secondly, the research provides valuable insight into the role of career commitment for film workers. Together these provide practitioners and academics with a clear and focused understanding of the role of career commitment, and its effect on workers in the Australian Film Industry. Thirdly, this research provides some practical guidance for managers in the Australian Film Industry that may assist them to develop better working relations with their crew in improving performance on the film set. Finally, this research demonstrates the strengths of using grounded theory for qualitative analysis in a organisational area of study. Through the application of this research method the study found a basic social process which was an area of concern to the participants and which led to the development of a substantive theory – that is Career Commitment in Film Production in the Australian Film Industry.

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Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.