The employees within the financial sector

Sarah Trans Houmøller Jensen & Zophia Milina Damsgaard

Student thesis: Master thesis


The financial crisis that emerged in 2008 has had its influence on different levels of the Danish society. Especially the financial institutions have experienced an increasing surveillance and skepticism from the public. Due to this we find it relevant to examine how employees within the financial sector are affected by the company they are part of. Thus this master thesis will look into if the three constituent elements of the VCI-model affect the company’s employees and if so, how? The thesis takes it’s empirical grounding in two Danish financial companies. One being Denmark’s biggest financial Bank, Danske Bank and the other a small co-operative local bank, Fælleskassen. The thesis is constructed from primary data; two qualitative focus group interviews with employees from the two cases and a telephone interview. And secondary data; articles and other relevant material about the cases. Our primary theoretical foundation is Hatch and Schultz’s VCI Alignment Model, which was used as a theoretical framework. Michel Foucault’s critical discourse theory functioned as an analytical tool in order to investigate the different discourses that influence the employees. The analysis was executed within the paradigm of social constructivism. From the analysis it can be concluded that the employees are affected by two main discourses; the organizational discourse and the societal discourse. The organizational discourse is from a VCI-model perspective based on the two elements; vision and culture. Our results revealed that due to the fact that the vision is not integrated into the organizational culture in Danske Bank the employees are not affected by the vision but rather only by the organizational culture. In Fælleskassen however, the employees are affected by both the vision and the organizational culture as the vision is created on the basis of the fundamental value; democracy. This means that both management and employees are included in the decision making process. The societal discourses, which is based upon the element image in the VCI model, affects the employees in both cases, however in two different ways. In Danske Bank the employees are negatively affected by the societal discourse around Danske Bank as they have a bad image and reputation. Due to this the employees will not acknowledge their employment with Danske Bank as long as they act within the societal discourse, as they do not wish their identity to be equalized with the negative reputation that the bank holds. On the contrary Fælleskassen’s discourse affects the employees’ identity positively as the stakeholder’s image of the company is decent. The final part of the thesis discusses some of the finding and conclusions and as a final remark, puts the findings into perspective.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Organizational Communication, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2014
Number of pages191