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Palgrave Macmillan

Retail Work

ISBN 9780230283572
Publication Date May 2011
Formats Paperback Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Critical Perspectives on Work and Employment

Internationally renowned experts assess the role of retail work in modern industrial economies in Retail Work. Chapters are arranged thematically to capture four aspects of retail work: the nature of work and the shop floor; work across the supply chain and the wider productive system; the skills used in retailing; and workers as a collectivity.

IRENA GRUGULIS is the Professor of Employment Studies at Durham University, UK
  
ÖDÜL BOZKURT is a Lecturer at the Department of Organisation Work and Technology, Lancaster University Management School, UK.

Why retail work demands a closer look
PART I: WORK AND SKILLS
Following the retail chain: sandwiches, supermarkets and the potential for workplace learning
In the blink of an eye – American high end small retail businesses and the public workforce system
Labour supply and skills demand in fashion retailing
Technological change, work reorganization and retail workers' skills in production-oriented supermarket departments
PART II: RETAIL AS A JOB VERSUS RETAILING AS A CAREER
'It's all right for Saturdays but not forever' The employment of part-time student staff within the retail sector
The 'lost boys'
Avoiding the trap: temporary identity as a means of coping with low-wage, part time jobs
PART III: THE PRESSURES OF RETAIL WORK
Employers' 'exit options' and low wage retail work: the case of supermarkets in the Netherlands and Germany
'No place to hide'? the realities of leadership in UK supermarkets
In search of teamworking in a major supermarket
PART IV: NEGOTIATING 'GOOD WORK' IN RETAIL
Humour in Retail Work: Jokes Salespeople Tell about Their Clients
Incentive for co-worker commitment 
Union strategies in representing 'new workers': The case of Australian and UK retail unions
Endnote: thoughts and reflections Chris Tilly and Françoise Carré

Reviews

'I have long felt that retail work 'demands a closer look' and that as Bozkurt and Grugulis argue 'a far more representative workplace of the post-industrial era may be Walmart rather than Google'. This volume argues convincingly for our attention: stressing the significance of skills and skilling, emphasising the diversity of 'shop work' and addressing the corporate policies behind retail work practices. I thoroughly recommend it' - Professor Michelle Lowe, Professor of Retail Management, University of Surrey
'With the largest single occupational category in both the UK and USA now being retail assistant, this volume sheds light on a key, and hitherto understudied, group of workers. The book raises a host of important issues, for both policy and practice, in relation to skill and training, wages, recruitment and selection, work organisation and the quality of working life, and progression and social mobility. The editors are to be congratulated for bringing together such a fascinating set of contributions on an industry whose activities affect us all.' - Professor Ewart Keep, deputy director, ESRC Centre on Skills, Knowledge & Organisational Performance, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University
'Retail Work is a pertinent, timely and interesting book, which is part of the excellent 'Critical Perspectives on Work and Employment' series. The collection brings together contributions from established academics and early career researchers across several countries, addressing the variation of retail employment. Many of the authors critically analyse the continued expansion of global retail corporations, together with tensions over increasing workplace demands, high levels of attrition and low pay. This book will be particularly relevant to academics and students interested in retail management, industrial relations and the sociology of work.' - Book Reviews, Industrial Relations Journal 44:1, 95–100
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