Internal promotion in mass marketing : the end of a myth
Focusing on the case of mass marketing, the article brings to light the wellsprings of dedication to work and the contradictory dynamics operative in today’s work world. At precisely the time that companies are demanding considerable employee commitment, they have fewer and fewer resources to engender it. Mass marketing is emblematic of this paradox, organized as it is on the « just in time » and « zero inventory » principles, which require intense dedication from counter or department staff that amounts to total availability. The incentive model promoted in the sector is to promise employees compensation in the form of internal promotion. This managerial rhetoric, though addressed to all employees, today only affects a tiny minority. I analyze the impact on department staff dedication using a typology of that population that allows for bringing to light the different degrees and types of investment in work characteristic of it. The finding is that a significant proportion of department staff adopt a posture of withdrawal. Consequently, though the work gets done « anyway », this is primarily because disengagement by some is compensated for by over-investment by others, the latter due to causes other than internal promotion.