This dissertation focuses on MaxBank, a minor regional bank operating locally in southern Sealand. From customer’s perspective the banking landscape is characterised by homogenous, substitutable products and comparable service. Facing high competition within the banking sector and searching for a way to stand above their competitors, MaxBank aimed for a perceived superior customer value proposition by concentrating more on service design. They replaced their traditional interior bank decor design with a café store concept to create a highly‐distinctive, friendly atmosphere. This provided the foundation for an intimate relationship with the customers, which they called ‘economic friendship’. But the global financial turmoil has led to continuous efforts to cut costs and MaxBank needed to reassess, whether they should phase out or develop their concept further. This is why we conduct an examination of which possibilities and limitations the concept has for the organization. We discuss what it means to practice an ‘economic friendship’, and which relevance the the café store concept has. Our analysis will focus on how this concept unfolds within the present rationality of management in MaxBank. We apply Foucault’s perspective on power and subjectivity, which suggests that interpersonal relations and the surroundings create roles and space for the people in MaxBank. While Foucault provides insight into MaxBank’s practices, we use Luhmann’s systems theory to create a general view over the different perspectives and rationalities of action that appear. Our analysis shows that several approaches of the ‘economic friendship’ are possible, and that the success criteria depend on the individual perspective. That means that the management, employees and customers have a different understanding of the meaning of the concept. We find this to be problematic if the organization wants to develop the current practice further. The concluding remarks discuss how MaxBank should look upon its practice from different perspectives in order to expand their present conceptual horizon. By involving the perspectives of the employees and customers, the potential for observing something new could emerge and constitute a greater benefit of the concept for the better good of the organization.
|Educations||MSc in Philosophy, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||128|