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Accepted Paper:

has pdf download Role of Leadership in the Adoption of Digital Banking Infrastructure: An Ethnographic Study of a Public Sector Retail Bank in India  


Soumyo Das (International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore)
Bidisha Chaudhuri (IIIT, Bangalore)

Paper short abstract:

Our study explores the role of leadership in the adoption of ICTs in banking. Drawing on fieldwork in a Public Sector Bank in Calcutta, we show the forces driving leadership to proactively push for the adoption of ICTs & the role of Front-Desk Execs. as 'leadership vessels' in facilitating the same.

Paper long abstract:

Public Sector Banks (PSBs) in India are state-institutions dedicated to bringing financial products and services to people from low-income backgrounds and residing in remote & under-developed locations of the country (Ray 2004). In recent years, PSBs have increasingly started using ICTs to deliver financial services, and are proactively pushing for the adoption of digital banking technologies in service delivery. Drawing from a 3-month long ethnographic study of organizational work practices in a retail bank, our research traces the role of leadership in the adoption of a retail bank's in-house digital banking infrastructure.

Our findings highlight two important themes: firstly, the linkages between national policies, market-demands, and organizational aspirations of being a 'progressive modern firm' as core driving forces behind the senior and mid-level leadership stressing on increasing number of 'active users' of the digital banking infrastructure; secondly, the role of front-end executives as 'leadership-vessels' by acting in new advisory roles - from explaining the digital technology to customers, to helping them board the platform, and advising them on mitigating problems as and when they arise.

Our study strives to develop a grounded theory of how leadership facilitates the adoption of digital banking architectures and extends support to mitigating problems in digital system design and use, arising out of structural issues & use-knowledge shortcomings of customers.

Panel P42
Digital Development Leadership