Family metaphors and learning processes in a restaurant chain

Konstantinos Kakavelakis

Research output: Working paper/PreprintWorking paper


Previous research on Human Resource Management (HRM) in hospitality
has argued that the nature of the service encounter determines the type of
management controls deployed. So, where the service encounter is
standardized, organizations rely on external bureaucratic controls while
organizations whose service offer is customized use normative controls
given their greater reliance on front line staff for service delivery. This
argument is underpinned by the notion of “best fit” between competitive
strategies and HRM style. However, this notion is limiting because it does
not take into consideration broader sectoral issues that mediate the
relationship between service offer and types of control. This paper
addresses this limitation through a case study of a “McDonaldized”
restaurant chain in the UK. Contrary to the above argument, the evidence
shows that the company employed a family-based type of control which
aimed to address the perennial issue of high labour turnover which is
common in hospitality. The relative success of normative control in this
case is explained by the fact that it did not co-exist with other, more
militaristic forms of control as is often the case in fast-food outlets.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCardiff University
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2008

Publication series

NameLearning as Work Research Paper No 18
PublisherCardiff School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University


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