Employment Relations


Please write an essay in relation to the following case study, answering the following:
What theory best explains what is going on here? Include these theories and others that would help with this (800 words, do not need a bibliography, but in-text references)

Case Study:

Tech Inc.
The next frontier for the Tech Inc. firm is the traditional service sector, tackling retailers and restaurants. “Taylor’s ideas have been applied very widely in manufacturing?…?but the services industry has always been a black box.” Now with data we can do this in the service sector.” So Frederick Taylor is heading to the high street? “Yes — Taylor on steroids.”

Tech Inc. is one of the Silicon Valley companies trying to make this happen. The technology business has about 40 retail chains as clients, including Uniqlo and 7-Eleven. It installs sensors in shops that measure the volume and type of customers flowing in and out, combines that with data on the amount of sales per employee, and calculates what it describes as the “true productivity” of a shop worker: a measure it calls “shopper yield”, or sales divided by traffic.

Tech Inc. provides management with a list of employees ranked from lowest to highest by shopper yield. Its algorithm builds profiles on each employee — when do they perform well? When do they perform badly? It learns whether some people do better when paired with certain colleagues, and worse when paired with others. It uses weather, online traffic and other signals to forecast customer footfall in advance. Then it creates a schedule with the optimal mix of workers to maximise sales for every 15-minute slot of the day. Managers press a button and the schedule publishes to employees’ personal smartphones. People with the highest shopper yields are usually given more hours. Some store managers print out the leader board and post it in the break room. “It creates this competitive spirit — if I want more hours, I need to step it up a bit,” explains Greg Tanaka, Tech Inc.’s 42-year-old founder.

The company runs “twin study” tests where it takes two very similar stores and only implements the system in one of them. The data so far suggest the algorithm can boost sales by 10-30 per cent, Tanaka says. “What’s ironic is we’re not automating the sales associates’ jobs per se, but we’re automating the manager’s job, and [our algorithm] can actually do it better than them.”

Better for the employer? Or better for the workers? Both, argue Tanaka and Netessine. Unlike human store managers, algorithms do not use hours to reward the people they like, or the people they are related to, or the people who look like them. Tanaka is forever fighting battles against the “incredible biases” of managers who want to tweak his algorithm’s carefully calibrated schedules. “The manager comes in and says, ‘Look, my favourite person is not working when I’m working, so I want to muck with the schedule’ and it’s like, ‘Oh my god, just by doing that you lost a few percentage points in sales!’”

Essay Structure:

Introduction (states what you’re examining, states your argument, outlines what will be covered),
Body (outlines the main points of your argument – one paragraph one point – and provides evidence to support your argument AND points contrary to your argument),
Conclusion (recaps main argument and main points of evidence).
Define key terms
Include some theory that is relevant to the topic
Need to apply the theory to the facts of the case
Do not describe the facts of the case (you can assume that we know them)


Please provide short answers (one paragraph – 150-200 words each):

1. Explain the hierarchy of controls in health and safety. Provide examples.

2. Identify the role of the state in regulating employment relations. Provide examples.

3. Explain THREE (3) reasons why workers might join trade unions. Provide examples.

4. Explain four (4) changes in the industrial structure and its impact on the nature of work. Provide specific examples to demonstrate your understanding.

Please use all sources included, that you deem relevant. Only read enough as to what is needed to answer the question correctly. No bibliography is required


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