This case study reviews the evolution of the multi-tiered "Grass Roots" information and consultation framework within the home improvement retail chain, B&Q. 

The first B&Q store opened in 1969 and since then the company has developed into the UK’s best known DIY retail chain with some 320 stores throughout the country employing more than 33,000 people. In 1999 B&Q acquired the mail order company Screwfix Direct. In 1998 B&Q merged with France’s leading DIY retailer, Castorama, becoming the largest DIY retailer in Europe. The company continues to expand domestically.

Grass Roots, introduced in 1998, is a company-wide process for communication and consultation within B&Q, including head office departments and head office overall. It operates through a series of quarterly meetings involving management and employee representatives at store level, regional level, divisional level, and national level. Revised arrangements introduced in 2002 included formal elections for employee representatives and a consultative role in respect of planned business changes.

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