Virtual Society? logo


End of award report

Principal Investigator

Professor John A Hughes
Department of Sociology
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YL
+44 (0)1524 594174


Mr Mark Rouncefield
University of Lancaster

Professor Wes Sharrock
University of Manchester

Mr Peter Tolmie
Xerox Research Centre Europe

Research Period
1 October 1997 to
30 September 1999
Where the 'Virtual' meets the 'Real': Management and Innovation in the Virtual organisations

A major UK retail bank (the subject of this detailed ethnographic study of managerial work) adopted an approach in which the specification of tasks was used to achieve the co-ordination of its workers. The outcome of this adjustment was to increase standardisation, routinisation and mathematisation of working practices.

More specifically the researchers observed that

  • best practice in one location may not be readily transferred to another
  • in monitoring achievement, managers rely on basic interaction and co-presence
  • team work depends on local loyalties
  • interaction between managers and their customers clearly influences decision making in the bank

Extended summary (pdf)

Full report (tba)


Other reports available

Coming soon  

Use (free) to download reports


Return to top of page
Switch to text only version

Page developed by Christine Hine
Page maintained by Marike van Harskamp
Contents current at 29th May 2001