Competition in the provision of financial services has intensified as external change (including technological innovation) has created more opportunities for service delivery and extended the range of potential competitors and forms of competition. At the same time, technological innovation and applications of Information Technology in particular led to new and faster ways of sharing information. Financial service organizations, therefore face a paradox between the co‐operation needed to benchmark and competitive rivalry. Through case studies, the research explores the penetration of best practice benchmarking in financial services and the role of technological innovations in that process, with an emphasis on online applications. Results suggest that changes in performance benchmarks for service delivery resulting from new technology are associated with greater competitive rivalry among financial service organizations. Results also suggest that technological change can provide new and innovative ways to exchange information but even if that is the case, incentives for internal and external co‐operation can remain unchanged.
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