Learning, knowing and controlling the stock: the nature of employee discretion in a supermarket chain
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AbstractThis 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.
CitationFuller, A. et al (2009) 'Learning, knowing and controlling the stock: the nature of employee discretion in a supermarket chain' Journal of Education and Work 22 (2):105-120
JournalJournal of Education and Work