Checking out Flexible Working: A Comparative Study of UK and Australian Grocercy Retailing

Lynch, Samantha and Price, Robin (2003) Checking out Flexible Working: A Comparative Study of UK and Australian Grocercy Retailing. In: International Employment Relations Association, 9/7/2003, University of Greenwich. (Unpublished) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Abstract Purpose – This paper aims to provide comparative data on the nature of labour resourcing strategies in the UK and Australia. Design/methodology/approach – The approach used in this research is of one case study grocery retailer in each country. The methodology adopted included interviews with managers and employees, together with a review of company documentation. Findings – The findings show that there were differences in the composition of workforces across the two countries and the structure of the core and peripheral internal labour markets. Groceryco(UK) relied on part time employees for numerical flexibility, while Foodco(Aus) used casual contracts. Contextual factors such as employment legislation and collective agreements, together with company strategy and individual management preferences played a role in explaining these differences. Research limitations/implications – The research was of an exploratory nature and limited to only two case studies and to relatively small regional areas in the UK and Australia. Practical implications – The research highlights the different strategies that can be used to achieve flexibility of labour. The focus by retailers on cost minimisation has resulted in the use of casual or ‘just-in-time’ labour in Australia. The UK retail industry has also witnessed the introduction of minimum and zero hour contracts which could lead to ‘just-in-time’ labour resourcing being introduced in the UK. Originality/value – This research takes a micro-level comparative approach to examining labour resourcing strategies in grocery retailing and as a result provides new findings of store level processes for the deployment of labour across two countries. Keywords – employment flexibility, labour resourcing, retailing, UK, Australia Paper type – Research Paper

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School
Depositing User: Samantha Evans
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2008 15:46
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2014 10:19
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