12,000

We have over 12,000 students, from over 100 countries, within one of the safest campuses in the UK

93%

93% of Lancaster students go into work or further study within six months of graduating

Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > One store, two employment systems: core, periph...
View graph of relations

« Back

One store, two employment systems: core, periphery and flexibility in China's retail sector

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2009
JournalBritish Journal of Industrial Relations
Journal number1
Volume47
Number of pages26
Pages1-26
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Research on ‘flexible’ or ‘contingent work’, derived primarily from manufacturing and production contexts in Western settings, has often been theorized in terms of a core-periphery model. Based upon ethnographic research on vendor representatives and regular store employees conducted at a multinational retail firm in China, we indicate that this model is insufficient to capture the complexity of employment arrangements in this context. This article delineates the coexistence of two employment systems and a quadrilateral relationship in which workers' interests sometimes overlap but often compete. Our research also indicates that institutional arrangements in China significantly affect the strategies that are open to firms and the consequent structure of employment relations.