Doing Well By Doing Good: Improving Store Performance with Responsible Scheduling Practices at the Gap, Inc.

48 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2021 Last revised: 14 Sep 2021

See all articles by Saravanan Kesavan

Saravanan Kesavan

University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School

Susan Lambert

University of Chicago

Joan Williams

UC Hastings Law

Pradeep Pendem

University of Oregon

Date Written: June 6, 2021

Abstract

We estimate the causal effects of responsible scheduling practices on store financial performance at the US retailer Gap, Inc. The randomized field experiment evaluated a multi-component intervention designed to improve dimensions of work schedules – inconsistency, unpredictability, inadequacy, and lack of employee control – shown to undermine employee well-being. The experiment was conducted in 28 stores in the San Francisco and Chicago metropolitan areas for nine months between November 2015 and August 2016. Intent-to-treat (ITT) analyses indicate that implementing responsible scheduling practices increased store productivity by 5.1%, a result of increasing sales (by 3.3\%) while also decreasing labor (by 1.8%). Drawing on qualitative interviews with managers and quantitative analyses of employee shift-level data, we offer evidence that the intervention improved financial performance through improved store execution. Our experiment provides evidence that responsible scheduling practices that take worker well-being into account can enhance store productivity by motivating additional employee effort and reducing barriers to employees adhering to the scheduled labor plan.

Keywords: Field Experiment, Retail Labor, Responsible Operations

Suggested Citation

Kesavan, Saravanan and Lambert, Susan and Williams, Joan and Pendem, Pradeep, Doing Well By Doing Good: Improving Store Performance with Responsible Scheduling Practices at the Gap, Inc. (June 6, 2021). UC Hastings Research Paper Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3731670 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3731670

Saravanan Kesavan (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School ( email )

300 Kenan Center Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States

Susan Lambert

University of Chicago

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Joan Williams

UC Hastings Law ( email )

200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

Pradeep Pendem

University of Oregon ( email )

1208 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1208
United States

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