The Negotiation of the Sector
During the period of research, financial services were undergoing sweeping legal and regulatory changes that were challenging institutional demarcations. Information technology systems had important effects on the interface between the organization and its customers. All of the case firms studied depended to some degree on supplier networks and occupational links that traversed the sector. This chapter examines the relationship between firm and sector, focusing on the role of the social construction of knowledge in connecting organizational action and environmental change. It examines long-term interaction between the key competencies in firms and the emergence of major sectoral structures. The technology of remote banking provides a good illustration of the way in which sectoral and competitive relations could enhance the status of well-placed expert groups. In Scotland, banks had particular reasons for an interest in this technology. Projects emerged from a process of negotiation between firm and sector that reflected the competition between different forms of expertise.
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