‘One big club of which we are all members’: management and work culture in New Zealand department stores, c. 1910–1960

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper examines the work and work culture of department store salespeople in New Zealand department stores. Following the management advice of American, British, and Australian experts New Zealand store managers cultivated the notion of a store family and imported welfare work practices aimed at creating happy employees and a culture of consumption and modernity. The organization of New Zealand department stores was formally similar to those in the United States and Australia, but most stores were smaller with fewer than 500 employees. Departments in New Zealand stores were smaller and the role of buyers as department managers was attenuated. In this setting the efforts of management to cultivate a store family and a workplace social life that spanned departments were successful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-56
Number of pages22
JournalHistory of Retailing and Consumption
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 8 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I thank Melanie Nolan for her comments on this paper. Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the Business History Conference and the International Approaches to the History of Retailing and Distribution. I thank the audience and panel members at those conferences for their comments on those papers.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Department stores
  • New Zealand
  • work culture

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of '‘One big club of which we are all members’: management and work culture in New Zealand department stores, c. 1910–1960'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this