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Department Stores Study, 1968 (ICPSR 7083)

Principal Investigator(s): Blau, Peter M.


The data for this study were collected from 124 retail business organizations known as department stores and located in the northeastern United States. For the 90 stores in the sample that had branches, data were collected both for the main store and a typical branch store. The other 34 businesses included in the study were single-location stores. Interviews were conducted by the National Opinion Research Center and the Comparative Organization Research Program with a senior executive and personnel officer in each store. Variables measured the centralization of power, the efficiency, complexity, and dispersion of the organization, and the structural differentiation within the organization.

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Study Description


Blau, Peter M. DEPARTMENT STORES STUDY, 1968. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago, Comparative Organization Research Program [producer], 1969. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1976. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07083.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07083.v1

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    department stores, management, occupations, organizational behavior, organizational structure, personnel management, retail industry, retail trade, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1968

Universe:    Department stores located in the northeastern quarter of the United States, roughly east of the Mississippi and north of the Mason-Dixon line.

Data Type(s):    survey data, and aggregate data


Sample:    The sampled stores shared the following characteristics: (1) they were located in cities with a population of 25,000 or more, (2) they organized their floor space and selling activities into departments, and (3) they had a full furniture department or a full major appliances department, or both, in addition to men's and women's fashions, dry goods, and small appliances departments. The sample excluded chain retail stores, mail order houses, and discount and specialty stores. The stores were selected from the 1968 DIRECTORY OF DEPARTMENT STORES.

Data Source:

personal interviews, and statistical records


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-05-03

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