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Technical change in branch banking at the Midland Bank, 1945-75

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This article examines mechanisation and computerisation in the Midland Bank from 1945 to 1975. It concentrates on the human resources available to the bank to manage technical change. The Midland was slow to realise the full potential of mechanisation but introduced computers very successfully. Batch-processing, second generation systems were introduced in major conurbations, producing staff savings and reliable performance without disrupting work practices: However, the Midland developed limited specialist management resources, in part because the ease of early computerisation. Short of specialist managers, the Midland was unable to manage the huge leap in complexity associated with third generation systems. Accordingly, the introduction of on-line, real-time computing was badly delayed and the Midland board henceforth adopted a more conservative approach to technical change.
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Keywords: banking; business knowledge; computerisation; human resources; labour process; mechanisation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-11-01

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