The Role of Physical Space in Labour–management Cooperation: A Microsociological Study in Danish Retail

Anna Ilsøe*, Jonas Felbo-Kolding

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Many studies on labour–management relations have focused on formal cooperation in manufacturing. This calls for further research and theory development on labour–management interactions in private service companies, where cooperation practices appear to be less formal. In this article, a typology of cooperation between managers and employees is developed, based on a microsociological study conducted in the Danish retail trade in 2013. Drawing on six in-depth case studies, the article identifies four different physical spaces of labour–management cooperation: open collective, closed collective, open individual and closed individual. The article discusses the potential and limitations of the four spaces of cooperation for employee influence.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEconomic and Industrial Democracy
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)145-166
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Cooperation
  • Microsociology
  • Retail
  • Space
  • Workplace

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