Brave new world? The global financial crisis' impact on Scandinavian banking's sales rhetoric and practices

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Scandinavian Journal of Management, 2015, 31 (4), pp. 471 - 479
Issue Date:
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© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. The paper explores how the global financial crisis wrought changes in the financial industry, even far from the crisis' epicentre, in sales orientation, rhetoric and practices. We draw on accounts from managers and employees gleaned from a strategic sample of Scandinavian financial institutions. Framing our analysis on the concept of environmental jolts, we identified a shift in accounts in relation to sales as the context changed: from blame games, through the nurturing of conceptual plurivocality, culminating in embellishment. Initially bankers blamed external actors and factors. When they had to confront customer's complaints about mis-selling and critiques from regulatory authorities, a new discourse on "right selling" and changes in sales practices emerged, but the pressure to sell continued. Financial advisors and union representatives were critical to the development and the rhetoric involved. Revolutionary changes were few and far between in a context of piecemeal changes to rebuild image and trust.
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