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School of Arts and Media

Dr Pål Vik

Research Fellow


I am a Research Fellow at Community Finance Solutions, an independent research and development unit specialising in microfinance, financial inclusion and community ownership of assets, where I lead on research and consultancy projects for EU institutions, government departments and other funders. I am a sociologist with research interests in microfinance, especially in industrialised countries, financial inclusion, and the social and cultural history of banking. Prior to joining the University in 2007, I worked as a researcher for the London School of Economics and the Centre for Rural Development Studies in Costa Rica.


I welcome PhD applicants in areas pertinent to my research interests, including:

Microfinance/community finance (especially impact and sustainability)
Financial inclusion
History of banking
Embeddedness and business lending
Restructuring of banking post-1970s


Research Interests

Microfinance, with particular focus on social impact, outreach, governance and financial sustainability;

Financial inclusion, especially barriers to accessing finance, impact of Fintech on access, and effectiveness of financial inclusion interventions;

Social and cultural history of banking, including the role of banks in local communities, the development of the banking profession and sociologically-informed analysis of organisational change in banks (especially bureaucratisation, professionalization and disembedding)

Qualifications and Memberships

2014, PhD Sociology (University of Salford)

MSc Local Economic Development, Distinction (London School of Economics)

BA Hons Latin American Development Studies, 1st class honours (University of Portsmouth)

Member of the British Sociological Association

Member of the Association of Business Historians


Dayson, K. and Vik, P. (2014). Toward an architecture of microcredit regulation: The case of the European Code of Good Conduct, Cost Management 28(2), 18-25.

Vik, P. (2017). What’s so social about Social Return on Investment? A critique of quantitative social accounting approaches drawing on experiences of international microfinance, Social and Environmental Accountability Journal 37(1) (Special Issue: Social enterprise, accountability and social accounting), 6-17.

Vik, P. (2017). “The computer says no”: the demise of the traditional bank manager and the depersonalisation of British banking, 1960-2010, Business History 59(2), 231-249.

Hollow, M. and Vik, P. (2016). Another Step up the Ladder or Another Foot in the Grave? Re-evaluating the Role of Formal and Informal Training in the Career Development Process within Barclays Bank, 1945–80, Management & Organizational History 11(4), 345-363.