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Banking, bureaucracy and the career: the curious case of Mr Notman

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Alan McKinlay


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The cornerstone of banks' internal control was the inspection system that fanned out from the centre to examine all local transactions and records. A critical aspect of the inspection system was reporting on staff performance. Inspection was the lynchpin of the banks' surveillance systems that reached into all aspects of their employees' professional and personal lives before 1939. The nature of this control was revealed by a court case involving a Scottish bank clerk refused permission to marry by his employer. The rationale for this marriage bar lay in the nature of the banking career which was pursued in strictly ‘closed’ internal labour markets. Promotion was governed by professional competence and the organisation's assessment of the individual's personal development.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McKinlay A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Business History

Year: 2013

Volume: 55

Issue: 3

Pages: 431-447

Print publication date: 02/05/2013

ISSN (print): 0007-6791

ISSN (electronic): 1743-7938

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2013.773683


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