Since the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, the Malaysian banking industry has undergone radical restructuring. Policy responses from the Malaysian government and bank employers alike have necessitated the emergence of a new banking culture, which has in turn reorganised the work patterns of Malaysian bank employees. This paper specifically approaches such changes by highlighting the spatial dimensions within banking branches. We argue that spatial rationalisation of physical layouts at branch level has played a crucial role in reshaping the interplay between space, people and human resource requirements. The understanding of how spatial rationalisation has impacted on the skills, educational attainment, gender, age and power relations of Malaysian bank employees is critical given that the roles and responsibilities of contemporary bank employees have changed in tandem. Spatial rationalisation has blurred the vertical occupational hierarchy within the bank branch thereby imposing new skills requirements and forms of learning on both high and low-level Malaysian bank employees. The acquisition of these new skills are importance; failing which will impede the Malaysian banking industry’s aspiration to be integrated into the global economy.
|Keywords:||Spatial Rationalisation, Skills, Learning, Human Resource Development, Bank Branch, Malaysia|
Lecturer, Planning and Development Management, School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Associate Professor, Department of Resource Management and Geography, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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