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Learning, knowing and controlling the stock: the changing nature of employee discretion in a supermarket chain

Fuller, Alison, Kakavelakis, Kostas, Felstead, Alan, Jewson, Nick and Unwin, Lorna (2009) Learning, knowing and controlling the stock: the changing nature of employee discretion in a supermarket chain Journal of Education and Work, 22, (2), pp. 105-120. (doi:10.1080/13639080902854037).

Record type: Article


This paper explores the nature of the relationship between Head Office and stores in a large British supermarket chain. It focuses on the role played by a range of technological tools available for managing the stock and connecting different parts of the productive system and the implications this has for employee learning in stores. The evidence illustrates the dual role of artefacts in making possible long-distance control from Head Office, on the one hand, at the same time as opening up spaces for local discretion and intervention, on the other. Accordingly, the paper also shows how the relation between the organisational centre and the periphery gives rise to different types of skills and expertise, providing the basis for a potentially expansive learning environment at the level of the store.

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Published date: April 2009
Keywords: productive systems, learning, knowing, supermarkets, discretion, workplace


Local EPrints ID: 79753
ISSN: 1363-9080
PURE UUID: 48beb3a4-a93a-40b2-92c2-964f73464e1b

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Date deposited: 18 Mar 2010
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 23:16

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Author: Alison Fuller
Author: Kostas Kakavelakis
Author: Alan Felstead
Author: Nick Jewson
Author: Lorna Unwin

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