A Franco-British comparison of patterns of working hours in large-scale grocery retailing, with specific reference to part-time work
In this thesis patterns of working hours in large-scale grocery retailing in Britain and France are compared. The research is carried out using cross-national comparative methodology, and the analysis is based on information derived from secondary sources and empirical research in large-scale grocery retailing involving employers and trade unions at industry level and case studies at outlet level. The thesis begins by comparing national patterns of working hours in Britain and France over the post-war period. Subsequently, a detailed comparison of working hours in large-scale grocery retailing in Britain and France is carried out through the analysis of secondary sources and empirical data. Emphasis is placed on analyzing part-time working hours. They are contrasted and compared at national level and explained in terms of supply and demand factors. The relationships between the structuring of, and satisfaction with, working hours and factors determining women's integration in the workforce in Britain and France are investigated. Part-time hours are then compared and contrasted in large-scale grocery retailing in the context of the analysis of working hours. The relationship between the structuring of working hours and satisfaction with them is examined in both countries through research with women part-timers in case study outlets. The cross-national comparative methodology is used to examine whether dissimilar national contexts in Britain and France have led to different patterns of working hours in large-scale grocery retailing. The principal conclusion is that significant differences are found in the length, organization and flexibility of working hours and that these differences can be attributed to dissimilar socio-economic, political, and cultural contexts in the two countries.