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Title: Managing performance in retail operations : the store manager view
Author: Bell, James R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2702 8759
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2010
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Performance in retail operations is about delivering service to customers efficiently and effectively. In a competitive world, there is a constant pressure to improve performance. Retailers are not alone in believing that it is not possible to manage performance without trying to measure it. Supplied with indications of performance, retail managers will be influenced and their behaviours will change in pursuit of improvement. Whilst much academic attention has been devoted to performance "management", most of it is focused on measuring performance rather than how performance information is actually used. Comparatively little is known about how retail operations managers draw on performance information and then what they do with it. This study uses a qualitative methodology to explore retail store manager perceptions of performance management. The approach is careful not to assume that this population relies upon corporate systems and measures. It is possible that store managers have their own informal measures. Critical Incident Technique is adopted as a protocol to interview twelve store managers from a single retail organisation. This generates fifty-one examples of strong and weak performance, and captures how store managers first became aware of the situation and the actions or decisions that they took in response. The findings are evaluated using thematic content analysis to provide insight to performance management from the perspective of these front-line managers. In this study, financial performance indicators and particularly sales, dominate the corporate measurement system. The limited corporate use of more qualitative measures has weak influence on performance management in the view of store level respondents. There is a frustration that the corporate system provides only a partial view of the realities of managing retail operations. The study finds that there are useful non-corporate sources of performance information. Staff disposition is seen as linked to productivity, availability, customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and financial performance. There is potentially a cyclical effect that can be positive or negatively directed. The store manager in turn, can affect staff disposition. This has particular implications during periods of poor performance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available