• Cultural control and the `culture manager¿: employment practices in a consultancy

      Grugulis, C. Irena; Dundon, T.; Wilkinson, Adrian (2000)
      This article explores the use of `company culture¿ as a means of management control. It reports on research conducted in a consultancy that aimed to secure loyalty from its employees through a conscious policy of organised `play¿ at company socials. Employees were given a certain amount of freedom over their working lives in exchange for accepting company regulation of their social time. Here it is argued that this normative control differs from historical attempts to ensure that employees were of good moral character. In earlier interventions social and community obligations were emphasised, now every `virtue¿ encouraged is designed to be exercised in the workplace, often at the expense of the individual or the community. Further, that while control through organisational culture does have some of the advantages claimed for it in the prescriptive literature, it also extends the employment contract to areas previously outside the managerial prerogative.
    • Information but not consultation: Exploring employee involvement in SMEs

      Wilkinson, Adrian; Dundon, T.; Grugulis, C. Irena (2007)
      Most research on Employee Involvement (EI) has focused on large or 'mainstream' organizations. By adopting those schemes which 'appear' to work well in larger organizations, then smaller firms assume there will be enhanced employee commitment beyond formal contractual requirements. The main question in this paper is whether EI schemes designed by management will suffice under the 2004 Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) Regulations. It focuses on SMEs which tend to favour informal and direct EI, and it remains unclear how these methods will be played out under the new regulatory environment. Evidence from four case studies is presented here and it suggests that the ICE Regulations impose new challenges for smaller firms given their tendency to provide information rather than consult with employees. It also appears organizational factors, workplace relations history and the way processes are implemented at enterprise level may be far more important than size itself.
    • Managing culture at British Airways: hype, hope and reality

      Grugulis, C. Irena; Wilkinson, Adrian (2002)
      Nearly twenty years after the publication of the (in)famous In Search of Excellence, the notion of `cultural change¿ within organisations continues to excite attention. This is readily understandable, since cultural interventions offer practitioners the hope of a universal panacea to organisational ills and academics an explanatory framework that enjoys the virtues of being both partially true and gloriously simple. Such a combination is apparent in the way that many attempts to shape organisational culture are presented to the public: as simple stories with happy endings.1 This article attempts to rescue a fairy-tale. The story of British Airways is one of the most widely used inspirational accounts of changing culture. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s it was used to demonstrate the necessary compatibility of pleasure and profits2 in celebratory accounts where culture change is presented as the only explanation for the transformation that occurred. This corrective makes no attempt to deny the very substantial changes that took place in BA. Rather, it sets these in context noting the organisation¿s environment at the time of the transformation, the structural changes that took place and observes the impact that such changes had over the long term.3¿5