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Title: Implementing service quality programmes in UK retail financial services : the role of human resource management
Author: Cronin, Eileen
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 1992
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This thesis examines the practice of Human Resource Management and the implementation of Service Quality Programmes in the UK Retail Financial Services Sector. The study set out originally to explore the effects on the HRM role, policies and practices of environmental and strategic change. HRM was defined as follows: l.close integration of HR policies with business strategies and the use of HR policies to reinforce (or change an inappropriate) culture; 2.the recognition that employees are a source of competitive advantage and therefore a valuable resource (rather than a cost); and 3.consistent and coherent policies which promote flexibility and commitment. Initially, a survey of seventeen HR directors of major UK banks and building societies was conducted. This provided a sectoral overview of environmental and business strategy changes and their implications for HRM. The use of Service Quality programmes was found to be widespread and to have significant implications for the management of human resources. The research than turned to case study analysis of HRM and Service Quality Implementation. A comparative case study analysis of two banks with contrasting approaches to HRM and Service Quality was conducted. Analysis was contextual, processual and multi-level (the two banks were studied at both the strategic and operational (ie. branch) levels. The extent to which a HRM approach was adopted was evaluated and it was found that both fell short of achieving full HRM, as defined above. The factors which facilitate and inhibit the development of HRM were explored. Such factors as business strategy, environmental pressures, cost cutting, short-term ism , the use of financial performance indicators, cultural factors, poor change management skills etc. were found to be influential. The role of strategy emerged as critical. It is hypothesised that quality strategies may facilitate the development of HRM, while cost cutting strategies may hinder its achievement in certain circumstances. It was also shown that both banks encountered problems in implementing their Service Quality programmes. The obstacles to implementation were explored and found to be similar to those which inhibit the development of HRM. Further research is urged to determine the contingencies under which service quality strategies and HRM can be successfully implemented in service organisations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available