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Salvage Ethnography in the Financial SectorThe Path to Economic Crisis in Scotland$
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Jonathan Hearn

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780719087998

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719087998.001.0001

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Culture: nations, banks and the organisation of power and social life

Culture: nations, banks and the organisation of power and social life

(p.49) 4 Culture: nations, banks and the organisation of power and social life
Salvage Ethnography in the Financial Sector

Jonathan Hearn

Manchester University Press

With this chapter the book shifts from the contextualisation of the original study to the close examination of that study and its data. It presents ethnographic data on the discourses in the Bank relating to the ideas of national and organisational cultures. It examines how staff members compared and contrasted the cultures of the two merging organisations, Halifax and Bank of Scotland, and how they construed the differences between Scottishness and Englishness, especially in terms of culturally encoded notions of ‘diffidence’ and ‘confidence’. It shows how all these notions of culture became bound up with the making sense of the tensions engendered by the merger and the general direction of organisational change. A ‘conceptual interlude’ in the middle of the chapter explores the social science concept of culture, arguing that this tends to be too narrow and ideational, and insufficiently attuned to the organisation of power in the generation of culture.

Keywords:   Culture, National culture, Organisational culture, Scottishness, Englishness, Confidence and diffidence, Power

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