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Business Performance in the Retail Sector : The Experience of the John Lewis Partnership - Keith Bradley

Business Performance in the Retail Sector

The Experience of the John Lewis Partnership

Hardcover Published: 13th February 1992
ISBN: 9780198256946
Number Of Pages: 208

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Investing in people and developing management systems which treat people as a valuable asset, similar in importance to that of finance capital or physical assets, can substantially assist companies to improve and sustain their competitive advantage. Sophisticated human asset strategies have a pressing importance in the 1990s when demographic shifts and skill shortages are expected to undermine the competitive advantage of many Western companies. Keith Bradley and Simon Taylor demonstrate the importance of such strategies by focusing on the John Lewis Partnership, a major retailing company which has since 1929 been owned by its employees and run according to a set of democratic business principles. Conventional models of commercial success derived from neoclassical economics would predict that the firm would be inefficient and tend to underinvest as a result of the lack of capital market discipline and the influence of employees on decision-making. Using a wide range of conventional performance criteria the authors demonstrate that the John Lewis Partnership is highly successful and suggest that the conventional approach to the determinants of business performance is flawed. To understand why the Partnership has sustained its commercial success over several decades is to understand the company's distinctive emphasis on people.

`well-written book ... we must be grateful to Bradley and Taylor for sharing their research results with us in an informative and user-friendly way' Times Higher Education Supplement `There are seven pages of highly relevant references and the book is presented to a standard that you would expect from the Clarendon Press in Oxford ... The approach and feel of the book is of a very serious attempt to analyse one of the country's unique retail establishments. There can be little questioning that this is a fascinating book. The chapters are always interesting and provoke the reader to think more deeply about the questions being raised ... an interesting and thought-provoking book which has set itself very difficult questions to answer ... The authors are to be congratulated on the start that they have made.' The Service Industries Journal `the book represents a most useful contribution to our understanding of what are increasingly important issues. The book is well written and the authors display their command of the broader theoretical and policy literature by skillfully integrating this with their discussion of the case of the JLP. The book is highly readable and written at a level that makes it accessible to a general audience.' Economic and Industrial Democracy `the book represents a most useful contribution to our understanding of what are increasingly important issues. The book is well written and the authors display their command of the broader theoretical and policy literature by skillfully integrating this with their discussion of the case of the JLP. The book is highly readable and written at a level that makes it accessible to a general audience.' Economic and Industrial Democracy

List of Figures
List of Tables
Introductionp. 1
A Research Strategyp. 12
Strategy, Competitiveness, and the Way Aheadp. 22
A Business History of the John Lewis Partnershipp. 33
The Organizational Structure in 1989p. 47
Existing Research on the John Lewis Partnershipp. 55
The John Lewis Partnership and the Japanese Firmp. 70
Partnership Principles and Business: An Analysisp. 79
Theories of Business Performance and the John Lewis Partnershipp. 89
The Post-war Retailing Environmentp. 102
A Comparative Business Analysis: 1970-1989p. 108
Crossing Over into the Human Dimensionp. 140
Conclusionp. 173
Referencesp. 186
Indexp. 193
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198256946
ISBN-10: 0198256949
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 208
Published: 13th February 1992
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.0 x 14.3  x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.38