We have examined the evolving occupation of branch manager in the major British clearing banks in relation to the values on which both bank and employee base their operations. As a background to the measurement of the managers' personal values, using Milton Rokeach's instrument, we explore the concept of values and their origin, differentiating between morality and a social ethic. We propose a scheme for organising the value universe so that the influence of classes of value and their hierarchical position upon behaviour may be seen. From this is derived a proposal for the use of personal values creatively to enable an individual to respond properly to social demands. The behaviour of professionals in bureaucracies is explored, and the future of professionalism considered. We suggest that conflict is reduced by a unity of purpose between the banks, as professional bureaucracies, and their managers. Discussion of the banking principles to which staff are socialised and committed leads to a consideration of the professional and union associations for bank staff. We consider their roles and limitations. Finally the inadequacies of earlier studies of bank staff unionisation are suggested, and the history updated. The practical implications of nationalisation and personal liberty are touched on as they relate to our work and the future relationships between the clearing banks and society. The unitary view of banks and bankers is related to other sociological views of the reality of social relations. A profile of a preferred banker, derived from a study of the recruitment of career bankers, is set against the reality as we have observed, measured and exposed it in interview. The work is rounded off with an assessment of the degree to which our hypotheses of general identification of bank staffs with their banks through the coincidence of values have been supported by the evidence.
|Date of Award||1977|