A case study from the Greek banking sector: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

The choice of a case study approach

This particular research was based on the case study approach, since its fundamental characteristic is the ‘focus on a particular setting or event’. Thus, since the objective was to identify the way that a particular Greek bank develops new services, the case study approach was preferable.

Sampling method

Purposeful sampling seemed to be the most appropriate approach for the case study. Two particular versions of this type of sampling are ‘snowball sampling’ and ‘maximum variation sampling’. In the first case, a ‘gatekeeper’ is used in order to bring the researcher into contact with other participants within the organisation especially when the researcher has limited knowledge about the bank’s operations. In the second case, the aim is to gather data from a wide range of informants who are located in different positions within the bank.

In this research, both of these samples were used. The director of the department of domestic private banking was used as the ‘gatekeeper’, since the researcher had limited familiarity with the bank’s procedures and operations. As soon as he agreed to participate in the study, he suggested eight more people within the bank who could be interviewed for the purposes of this research. The ‘maximum variation’ was achieved, since these people came from different organisational levels. Eight in-depth interviews were conducted with the following executives:

—     The director of domestic private banking department

—     The director of the savings-investments department

—     The director of the consumer credit department

—     The assistant director of the consumer credit department

—     The director of the shipping department

—     The director of the investment banking department

—     The director of the treasury department

—     The director of the credit cards department

All eight executives participate in the development of new services in their areas of responsibility. ,n addition, one in-depth interview was conducted with a branch manager who has been extensively involved in idea generation sessions in the past.