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Internal labour markets in the Australian banking industry: their nature prior to the Second World War and their recent decline

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This paper uses evidence from late nineteenth-and early twentieth-century personnel records of two Australian banks to examine the nature of internal labour markets prior to the Second World War. It is argued that the industry possessed all the classic features of internal labour markets: limited ports of entry, internal promotion, long careers, and assignment of wages by well-defined rules. The paper then examines the reasons why banks adopted internal labour markets. Finally, the paper examines the recent decline of internal labour markets and examines the role of technological and social changes in this decline.

Keywords: Australian banking; deferred compensation; internal labour markets; personnel practices; promotion; technological change

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2004

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