Humanising the ‘dungeons’ of the bank: public-private processes for aligning norms regarding automated protocols in debt relationships between Dutch SMEs and banks’ infirmary departments

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Abstract

This paper reveals how the automatising of protocols ignited a public conflict between Dutch banks and their Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) clients in the years after the Global Financial Crisis. The bank’s “infirmary departments” for Financial Restructuring and Recovery (FR&R) were accused of (mal)treating SMEs. The conflict resulted in no formal regulatory or legal change despite public support. Instead, the banks created self-regulation to improve communication with SMEs, leading to shifts in governing FR&R for SMEs. This way, the banks mitigated significant negative symptoms of automation and solved the conflict with the SMEs while keeping FR&R and ongoing automation intact. The research uses an interdisciplinary analytical framework to understand national financial conflicts in a digitalised (business) world. It contributes to the theory of institutionalising values in discursive contests between action fields. The paper highlights the material and causes of normative conflicts of interest among critical actors in established public-private networks through discourse analysis and process tracing.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages37
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2024
EventThe 8th World Interdisciplinary Network for Institutional Research (WINIR) Conference 2023: Institutional Innovation and Evolution Challenges to the Modern World Order - Sicily, Italy
Duration: 20 Sept 202323 Sept 2023

Conference

ConferenceThe 8th World Interdisciplinary Network for Institutional Research (WINIR) Conference 2023
Abbreviated titleWINIR 2023
Country/TerritoryItaly
CitySicily
Period20/09/2323/09/23

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