People are management's most important asset, and in no other industry is this more true than in retail distribution. Not only is it highly labour intensive but, with the addition of the crucial role played by the consumer, the question of human relations becomes of paramount importance. This special feature is therefore concerned with various aspects of people at work. Firstly, Dr Olive Robinson and Mr John Wallace have written the first of a series of articles dealing with current questions of wage payment and employment in the distributive trades. Following on this Mr M.F. Hall reports on a pilot study, undertaken in a department store, which examines the output of selling staff and assesses their effectiveness. Finally, three writers from the Institute of Manpower Studies (concerned with improving the management of human resources in industry), describe how they set about a study of the manpower situation in distribution, a commission offered them by the DITB.
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