chapter  4
35 Pages

Financial services 1: Pensions and investments

We now turn to our research in financial services, beginning in this chapter with two companies dealing in pensions and investments, and in the next, a mortgage company. The major characteristics of this sector, and the differences in relation to manufacturing industry are: (1) the virtual nature of the products (mathematical abstractions, rather than physical artefacts), and (2) the existence of the customer as a private individual – actually, millions of individuals – which means that companies operate enormous systems to manage product sales, and customer service systems to support the needs of existing customers. As in the manufacturing sectors, we placed our focus of investigation on intermediate-level employees working within these two service systems.