Directing democracy : competing interests and contested terrain in the John Lewis Partnership

Cathcart, Abby (2013) Directing democracy : competing interests and contested terrain in the John Lewis Partnership. Journal of Industrial Relations, 55(4), pp. 601-620.

View at publisher

Abstract

The John Lewis Partnership is one of Europe’s largest models of employee ownership and has been operating a form of employee involvement and participation since its formation in 1929. It is frequently held up as a model of best practice (Cathcart, 2013) and has been described as a ‘workers’ paradise’ (Stummer and Lacey, 2001). At the beginning of 2012, the Deputy Prime Minister of the UK unveiled plans to create a ‘John Lewis Economy’ (Wintour, 2012). As John Lewis is being positioned at the heart of political and media discussions in the UK about alternatives to the corporate capitalist model of enterprise, it is vital that more is known about the experience of employee involvement and participation within the organisation. This article explores the ways in which the practice of employee involvement and participation has changed in John Lewis as a result of competing employee and managerial interests. Its contribution is a contemporary exploration of participation in the John Lewis Partnership and an examination of the ways in which management and employees contested the meaning and practice of employee involvement and participation as part of a ‘democracy project’, which culminated in significant changes and degeneration of the democratic structures.

Impact and interest:

5 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
4 citations in Web of Science®

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

282 since deposited on 25 Jul 2013
124 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 61537
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Degeneration, Employee Involvement and Participation, John Lewis Partnership, Organisational Democracy, Voice
DOI: 10.1177/0022185613489424
ISSN: 1472-9296
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > TECHNOLOGY (100000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Industrial Relations (150306)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Deposited On: 25 Jul 2013 22:53
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2014 06:19

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page