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The restructuring of career paths in large service sector organizations: 'delayering', upskilling and polarisation

Grimshaw, Damian, Beynon, Huw, Rubery, Jill and Ward, Kevin 2002. The restructuring of career paths in large service sector organizations: 'delayering', upskilling and polarisation. The Sociological Review 50 (1) , pp. 89-115. 10.1111/1467-954X.00356

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Drawing on detailed case studies of four large service sector organizations this paper finds little evidence of training provision that links skills development with incremental career progression. Past policies of ‘delayering’ have opened up a ‘gap’ in the job ladder and this has both increased the organizational costs of formal training and reduced the likelihood of informal on-the-job training being seen as the basis for promotion to the next level. Managers are thus faced with the challenge of how to establish a new set of premises upon which to strengthen the workforce's loyalty and commitment to the organization, in the context of problems of high staff turnover and low job satisfaction. What we find is a greater emphasis on certificated training provision. However, in the absence of a transparent career path employers rely on more intensive techniques of appraisal and selection of workers for a ‘winner-takes-all’ career path. Given the importance of skills acquisition as an important building block of the ‘learning society’, our findings suggest that policymakers in Britain cannot rely solely upon the employer to bridge the skill gap evident in large service sector organizations.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISSN: 0038-0261
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 01:48

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