The Digitalisation of Service Work: A Comparative Study of Restructuring of the Banking Sector in the United Kingdom and Luxembourg

Andreas Korneklakis, Vassil Kirov, Patrick Thill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article compares the process of digitalisation and outcomes from work restructuring in two banks from the United Kingdom and Luxembourg. The banking sectors in both countries have been challenged by digitalisation pressures such as online and mobile banking, pressures from ‘Fintech’ banks, and the automation of back-office operations. Yet, the adjustment paths in the two countries differed. In Luxembourg, there is an adjustment via limited lay-offs, and increased training and reskilling; however, in the United Kingdom, the main outcomes revolve around branch downsizing and offshoring of employment. These outcomes are explained by differences in institutional supports for collective voice institutions, as well as the role of the state. The findings demonstrate that the embedded employment relations’ institutions and actors have shaped distinct paths of adjustment to digitalisation; and show how the impact of technology on work is neither deterministic nor unidirectional.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-272
JournalEuropean Journal of Industrial Relations
Issue number3
Early online date18 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research has benefited from partial funding from a Visiting Scholar research scheme from the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) and a small grant from the King’s College London SSPP Research Fund.


  • Banking
  • digitalisation
  • employment relations
  • United Kingdom
  • Luxembourg
  • social partners
  • restructuring

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