New patterns of recruitment and training in German, UK and French banks: an examination of the tensions between sectoral and national systems

Quack, Sigrid, O'Reilly, Jacqueline and Hildebrandt, Swen (1995) New patterns of recruitment and training in German, UK and French banks: an examination of the tensions between sectoral and national systems. Discussion Paper. Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, Berlin, Germany.

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In this paper we examine debates concerned with national models of industrial organisation. One school of thought has argued that distinct national models, or business systems are a prevalent and enduring paradigm. Critiques of such an approach argue that common global competitive pressures will encourage greater convergence in organisation, so that national models will become outdated. We have argued that a sectoral approach to understanding the affect of contemporary supranational pressures on national regimes can provide a useful empirical analysis of these debates. Actors at the sectoral level represent a primary force for adaptation processes in national production systems because they are seeking concrete solutions to problems generated from global competitive pressures.

To examine these debates we focus on competition and developments in the recruitment and training practices of the retail banking sector in Germany, Britain and France. The comparison reveals that market pressures have actually led to considerable changes in each of the national banking sectors, but that the outcomes are rather different. Between countries, there is considerable variation in the relative significance of price-, quality- and innovation-led competition in different market segments. This is also true for recruitment and training practices with which German, British and French banks have responded to changes in market competition.

Furthermore the analysis shows that banks' recruitment and training strategies are not only shaped by national educational and training institutions, but that national educational and training institutions themselves have undergone changes which in turn have influenced labour supply in the banking sector. The explanation of differences between countries and changes over time, however, would remain fragmentary without specific training institutions and regulations at the level of the sector. These sectoral arrangements have not only significantly influenced recruitment and training practices at the company level. In all three countries, banks have also been actively involved in the reform of these sectoral institutions and regulations in order to adapt them to their changing demands. From these results, we conclude that the sector is an important intermediary arena in which actors negotiate changes in the regulatory systems between the company and the national level.

Item Type: Reports and working papers (Discussion Paper)
Additional Information: WZB Discussion paper FS I 95-101. ISSN: 1011-9523
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Business and Management
Depositing User: Stacey Goldup
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2017 11:07
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2017 11:07
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