Organizational Control and Autonomy in Retail Work Spaces: Evidence from a UK IKEA Store

Bilsland, K. and Cumbers, A. (2018) Organizational Control and Autonomy in Retail Work Spaces: Evidence from a UK IKEA Store. In: 78th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management (AOM 2018), Chicago, IL, USA, 10-14 Aug 2018, (doi: 10.5465/AMBPP.2018.12455abstract)

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This article contributes to debates within Labour Process Theory (LPT) around managerial control and autonomy in the workplace through an analysis of the production of organizational space within Swedish furniture retailer IKEA. The article investigates organizational practices from a spatial perspective to elaborate on employment relations in retail spaces, developing a more nuanced sense of employee agency. The findings reveal that the social and material arrangements at IKEA together represent the enactment of a particular kind of organizational space that provides innovative opportunities for organizational control and work process improvement. While employees are able to exercise their own agency and spatial practice, their actions remain largely constrained by dominant organizational structures and processes. As such, the article augments existing LPT debates by developing new insights and empirical research on the effects of managerial control on worker-consumer relations and subjectivity spatially.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Additional Information:Abstract published in Academy of Management Proceedings, vol. 2018 no.1.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bilsland, Dr Karen and Cumbers, Professor Andrew
Authors: Bilsland, K., and Cumbers, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Academy of Management Proceedings

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