Sarah Watson


This thesis examines the development of management in financial services and its implications on managers' activities and socialisation. The thesis uses gender and emotional labour as the main themes for the discussion of management in the financial services. The thesis reports on two ethnographic case studies within two UK retail banks. Analyses are based on data derived from interviews, observations and documents. Both the literature and data suggest that management in the service sector centres around the management of organisational cultures. Managers must disseminate the organisational values in order to extract excellent customer service from the front-line staff. Managers themselves are acculturated into the organisation and its values, in order to more easily acculturate their staff. The data indicates that although management appears to have been feminised, masculine values still dominate. Managers are socialised into organisational cultures in which human relations rhetoric looms large and both male and female managers employ `feminine' management styles. Confusingly however, male managers' skills seem to be valued more and male-dominated business areas receive greater kudos. A disjunction between rhetoric and reality is thus evident. In addition, both management and emotional labour are presented as gendered in sociological literature. The data indicates that although management styles and practices are perceived to be gendered, there is little evidence to support the stereotypes. Both men and women can be seen to be performing emotional labour too, but it is the expectations of others and their different life experiences that can lead to gender differences in the way that emotional labour is displayed.

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