Tradition Under Fire: Values, Role Regulation and Work Identity within the Fire and Rescue Service

  • Shaun Hallam

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The Fire and Rescue Service is characterised by a strong culture, reinforced by positive esteem. But the role of the Firefighter in society is changing by design, and as a reaction to changing demand and a need to diversify, beyond that of a traditional model.

This is a qualitative study, which gets to the heart of what it means to be a Firefighter. This provides us with a fascinating insight from the front line of the Fire and Rescue Service during a significant period of change, to consider how this is, or will affect what it means to be a Firefighter.

By focussing on identity during this period of flux, this study considers how Firefighters renegotiate self-images and work orientations in response to their changing environment. This raises the importance of how Firefighter values and identity influence organisational perspectives regarding strategic direction, mission determination, visioning, and ultimately performance outcomes within a County Council Fire and Rescue Service.

The present study offers a privileged personal account, which is uniquely viewed through an insider’s appreciation, providing a rare and fascinating insight into their worlds. This provides us the opportunity to look behind the scenes into what it means to be a Firefighter, making it unusual and interesting compared to other organisational studies in this area.
Date of AwardOct 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Northampton
SupervisorPeter Lawrence (Supervisor) & Sandy MacDonald (Supervisor)

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