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Choices, constraints and strategies of independence: retail store managers and the management of human resources

Choices, constraints and strategies of independence: retail store managers and the management of human resources

Lynch, Samantha Jane (2001) Choices, constraints and strategies of independence: retail store managers and the management of human resources. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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This research involved an investigation into the role of store level managers in the employee resourcing decision-making process in multiple retailing in the UK. The context of the retail industry is considered, including the employment characteristics of the workforce. The nature of HRM and employee resourcing in multiple store retailing and its link with corporate strategy is discussed. Particular consideration is made to the devolution of employee resourcing responsibilities to store level managers. The nature of retail management at local level is investigate followed by an examination of their choices and constraints takes place.

An embedded case study research methodology was adopted, which comprised of three multiple store retail organisations and six branches. Qualitative face-to-face interviews were conducted with management throughout the organisational hierarchy. The majority of interviewees were managers at store level. An inductive approach was adopted for analysing the data.

A number of key findings were made and conclusions drawn through the inductive analysis of the data. Store level managers held significant responsibilities for employee resourcing, particularly in the recruitment and deployment of labour. They operated within a context of increasing centralisation and constraints. This resulted in their practice of strategies of independence to circumvent these increasing limitations. These strategies of independence had significant implications for the implementation of corporate policy and the management of human resources at store level. It was in the execution of employee resourcing where strategies of independence were most frequently deployed as HRM was the functional area where store level managers had greater autonomy. This resulted in a focus on 'hard' HRM practices at store level, regardless of head office 'rhetoric'.

In conclusion, a modification of Stewart's (1982) 'Choices For Managers' model is made, to more accurately reflect the reality of management processes. The consequences of store level managers' choices and constraints is conceptualised in the 'The Organisational Vicious Circle' model. This outlines how strategies of independence will perpetuate the limitations of local management.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:
Uncontrolled Keywords: retail store management, human resources, corporate strategies,
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Business
School of Business > Department of Human Resources & Organisational Behaviour
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2018 16:44
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None

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