Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Labour process theory, retail work and the production of space
Author: Bilsland, Karen
ISNI:       0000 0004 7963 1525
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2018
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Thesis embargoed until 28 May 2023
Access from Institution:
This thesis contributes to debates within Labour Process Theory (LPT) around managerial control and autonomy in the workplace through an analysis of the production of organisational space within Swedish multinational furniture retailer IKEA. It investigates organisational practices from a spatial perspective to elaborate on employment relations and participation in the retail workplace, developing a more nuanced sense of employee agency. The findings reveal that the social and material arrangements at IKEA-UK and IKEA-Sweden represent the enactment of particular kinds of organisational space which provide innovative opportunities for organisational control and work process improvement. While employees were found to exercise their own agency and spatial practice, their actions remained largely constrained by IKEA's dominant organisational structures and processes. Although workers were far from the passive recipients of management decisions apparent in much LPT analysis, their participation and contributions served the strategic visions and spatial plans of their employer. As such, this thesis augments existing LPT debates by developing new insights and empirical research on the effects of managerial control on worker-consumer relations and subjectivity spatially. In order to achieve the objectives of this research, a comparative, multi-site case study approach was adopted for its potential to open up new areas of insight and understanding into the lived experiences of work emerging across two different organisational settings. In addition, several qualitative data collection methods were employed, including in-depth (semi-structured) interviews with management and employees, non-participant observations and document analysis. The study also utilised two novel visual research methods, namely 'walking' interviews and photo-elicitation interviews, to obtain a richer and more elaborate picture of worker autonomy and participation than would ordinarily be available from traditional methodological techniques.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: H Social Sciences (General) ; HD28 Management. Industrial Management ; HM Sociology