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A Strategic Approach to the Study of Innovation in the Financial Services Industry: The Case of Telephone Banking

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Abstract:

During the 1990s the introduction of new technology, and in particular of low cost delivery channels, has accelerated the pace of innovation taking place within the UK financial services industry and has created a need for a more strategic approach to the study of innovation within this industry. In this paper, the case study of telephone banking is used to describe the main aspects of strategies adopted by the first and second movers, when implementing this delivery channel. It shows that the successful innovator – First Direct – adopted the logic of 'value-innovation', whilst the second movers have followed the 'conventional' logic. In contrast with previous studies, the strategic approach applied in this case study also reveals that differentiation in the financial market place is not achieved with the implementation of distribution channels or just technology, but bringing to the market 'unprecedented value'. Finally, the implications for the general theory of innovation in relation to financial services organisations are highlighted.

Keywords: BANKING INDUSTRY; DIFFERENTIATION; INNOVATION; MARKET POSITIONING; STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/026725703321663665

Publication date: April 1, 2003

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