Banking and Finance - Related Papers

"Making The Organisation Come Alive": Talking Through And About The Technology In Remote Banking - Dave Martin, Mark Rouncefield

Organizations have increasingly been seeking to interact with their customers using more 'remote channels', such as telephone and computer based technologies. This process has been a part of dramatic technological upheavals as technology enters into customer interactions. This paper examines examples of this changing relationship, documenting the role of technology in delivering banking services over remote channels. We present details from two ethnographic studies concerning physical and digital representations of artifacts, talk and the organization of customer-facing work and their relevance in 'designing for the expanded interface'. In telephone banking, sharing of objects and reconciliation between different instantiations is achieved through conversation. In videoconferencing, despite visual access to the same artifact, operators still need to guide customers around objects, explaining what they are seeing, what is happening. We look at the use of scripts designed to standardize operator interactions; the demeanour work undertaken by operators to account for the behaviour of technology; discuss attempts to configure customer interactions and consider issues of trust in such technologically mediated communication.

Rouncefield, M., Martin, D., Procter, R. & Slack, R. (2003). Making the Organisation Come Alive: Talking Through and About the Technology in Remote Banking. Human Computer Interaction, 18 (1 & 2). pp. 111-148.

Banking on the Old Technology: Understanding the Organisational Context of Legacy Issues. Dave Randell et al.

One preoccupation of academic and non-academic interest in contemporary organisations is the attempt to situate and understand organisational change as responses to what are seen as major transformations in the social and economic environment in which organisations operate. Although there are various diagnoses of these changes, (Lash and Urry, 1987; Hammer and Champy, 1993), Information Technology is seen as a key element in these changes, especially I.T systems that can facilitate coordination and communication of decision making, and support skill and knowledge. (Zuboff, 1988) Collaborative work, a central feature of organisations, is increasingly electronically supported,(Grudin, 1990) and distributed computing is widely accepted as an increasingly important feature of work in a variety of domains.(Robins, 1992).

Despite this emphasis on IT, both the Labour Process approach and its critics have tended to treat IT relatively unproblematically, (in contrast to ongoing debates on ‘resistance’,’ skill’ and so on) with the simple view that IT contributes to productivity, deskilling and monitoring as a product of management attempts to control the labour process. In addition analyses of IT and the labour process have generally been strongly theoretical leading to what Button (1993) calls “the case of the disappearing technology” - that is, even empirical studies of new technology (Knights & Willmott 1988) have failed to address the details of technology in use but instead have focused on the role of the technology in producing particular managerial or workplace configurations which are themselves derived from theoretical treatments of organisational life.

This paper presents some results from a long term empirical investigation of computer systems in use in financial services. It addresses conventional concerns with the relationship between new technology and ‘skill’, productivity and so on in a rather different fashion, by focusing on the issue of ‘legacy’. Computer systems have been installed for some time and no matter how well they may have fitted the situation initially, usage and the circumstances of use have changed; needs and users change, and, most importantly, the organisation itself may well have changed (Henderson & Kyng 1994). Although brought to the foreground of public attention by concerns surrounding the ‘millenium bug’, legacy issues have a far wider organisational purchase and relevance emphasising the idea of IT as constraining various kinds of organisational behaviour and activities, constraints that need to be skillfully negotiated by those at work. A number of examples of legacy issues and their impact on everyday working will be presented suggesting that ‘legacy’ is not merely a problem facing organisations with aging mainframes and dated software.

Dave Randall, John Hughes, Jon O’Brien, Tom Rodden, Mark Rouncefield, Ian Sommerville and Peter Tolmie (1999) 'Banking on the Old Technology': Understanding the organizational context of ‘legacy’ issues. Communications of the Association for Information Systems (CAIS), V2, 1999.