Jonathan Hearn
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Discourses of agency and progress in organisational change
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This chapter focuses on the idea of 'change' in several dimensions. The organisational changes in size, scale and structure reflect wider changes going on in the banking and financial sectors, which in turn are conditioned by wider national and global political economies. The chapter begins with some ethnographic examples of how change was being articulated and wrestled with in some of the staff training courses. It then offers an 'interlude' of more theoretical reflections on the concept of social change and its relevance to the material. The chapter then returns to look more closely at aspects of how change was being represented in everyday talk and experienced by bank staff. It explains how people responded to the call to act in highly uncertain circumstances, and some of the patterns of thought and language they drew on to help do that.

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