Research

Trust, Identity and Ethics in the Financial Sector

The financial sector sector has suffered a major loss of trust after the financial crisis in 2008. Today, more than 10 years later, most banks continuously find themselves struggling to re-establish the lost trust and repair their spoiled images among customers and society in general. I am interested in how the management and employees of banks make sense of the trust crisis, its occurrence and consequences, and how they reflexively reconsider their self-identity and ethics in the face of this crisis through their everyday stories.

Methods in Organization Studies

I am always curious about methodological issues that relate to research conducted in close interaction with corporations. I like to pull on various qualitative method strings particularly rooted in critical, ethnographic, and narrative approaches. In example, the objective of the book Counter-Narratives and Organization (2016) was to bring together researchers interested in theoretical and methodological approaches in order to foreground often silenced and fragile “counter-narratives,” those overlooked in organizational studies.

Sales, Strategy and Organization

I focused on individual- and organizational-level changes in sales practices in the financial sector following the 2008 global financial crisis. I have conducted a comparative case study of three different Nordic banks, one of which has subsequently been the subject of longitudinal, in-depth study. The financial crisis has damaged the image of many banks, and the bank advisors’ practices have been questioned on ethical grounds. I am interested in the ensuing changes, made in order to repair the public image by re-authoring new organizational and personal identity narratives. As part of this process I have been engaged in the Sales Executive Development Network in collaboration with Sydsvenska Handelskammeran

Organizations faced with damaged images

I studied identity negotiations among frontline ticket inspectors of a public railway service, E-rail (pseudonym), in the face of severe organizational stigmatization by the media. In my case study, I found that an emerging shared, collective paranoia influenced the sensemaking and enactment among frontline members of the organization. This research project also highlighted the ways the organizational members engaged in a particular storytelling structure, which maintained the organization in the status quo.

An internal perspective on branding

Since most of the organizational change processes, I have studied, were motivated by the need to repair the organizational image, I began to research branding as an organizational phenomenon. I consider branding to be a dominant logic in contemporary society, one with wide-ranging intra-organizational implications that have not yet been fully unpacked or studied empirically.

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@Sanne Frandsen