Newcastle University Business School

Event Item

Power, corruption and lies: Mis-selling, misconduct and the production of culture in financial services

Date/Time: Wednesday 7 December 2016, 16:00 - 18:00

Venue: Newcastle University Business School, Room 2.08

Speaker: Matthew Brannan

The extent of recent misconduct in retail financial services questions assumptions that mis-selling is perpetrated by rogue traders dealing in sub-prime markets.

Yet we know little about the organizational dimensions of mis-selling and specifically how new employees are introduced to and subsequently enact mis-selling behaviour when not explicitly encouraged to do so.

This research seminar seeks to understand the mechanics of mis-selling through an ethnographic account of the opening of a new retail financial services call centre, analysis of the ritual nature of the sales interaction, and historical comparison with other forms of mis-conduct at work.

The mechanics of mis-selling; training, induction and initial work of direct sales agents is documented to better understand the complexity, social relations and organization of mis-selling, together with the way in which regulation and management regimes shape sales practice and consequent employee behaviour.

The critical analysis of sales rituals allows us to explain how mis-selling becomes embedded in organizational practice and contributes to our understanding of the everydayness of mis-selling in contrast to approaches that focus either on individual decision-making or on cultural explanations.

Research group: Human Resource Management, Work and Employment