Family Themed Control in “Service Factories”: An Examination of Modes of Service Delivery and HRM Styles in the UK Restaurant Sector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the deployment of family-themed control in
McDonaldized service outlets. More specifically, the paper aims to contribute to the debate about the
nature of the service encounter and the type of management control employed by organizations in the
hospitality sector.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper adopts a case study approach, focusing on a UK
restaurant chain. A total of 55 interviews were conducted with area managers, restaurant managers
and employees in seven of the company’s restaurants.
Findings – The evidence shows that the case study 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.
Research limitations/implications – The study is based on a single organization. Further
research is needed into the rationale behind the deployment of normative control by service factories.
Originality/value – This study addresses limitations in previous research which discusses types of
management control in hospitality organizations within a framework informed by the notion of “best
fit” between service archetypes and HRM styles. The paper shows that the adoption of specific types of
management control is related not only to the nature of the service encounter but also to broader
sectoral issues
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-573
Number of pages17
JournalPersonnel Review
Volume39
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2010

Keywords

  • Restaurants
  • United Kingdom
  • hospitality management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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