Title: 'It's the most ethical job I have ever had': complaint handling and fair decision making in the financial industry

Authors: Jane Williams; Chris Gill; Gavin McBurnie

Addresses: Queen Margaret Business School, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh EH21 6UU, UK ' Law School, University of Glasgow, Stair Building, 5-9 The Square, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, UK ' Queen Margaret Business School, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh EH21 6UU, UK

Abstract: This exploratory study focuses on complaint handling in the financial industry to explore how complaint handling professionals interpret the requirement to treat customers fairly. Drawing on a small qualitative case study undertaken with a major UK financial institution, it is a novel attempt to integrate the literatures on ethical and fair decision making and apply them to the practice of complaint handling. Our contribution is to highlight: 1) the impact that institutional structures and processes play on the day to day practice of fair decision making; 2) how constructions of fairness vary between complaint handlers with some adopting an explicit ethical and moral focus; 3) the active role group support and dialogue plays in supporting individual complaint handler's fair decision making. Several practical implications arise from this in relation to how organisations can support fair decision making.

Keywords: fairness; fair decision making; ethical decision making; complaint handling; financial industry.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBGE.2021.118602

International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, 2021 Vol.15 No.4, pp.357 - 375

Received: 08 Aug 2019
Accepted: 13 Mar 2020

Published online: 08 Oct 2021 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article