How to be a Good Financial Advisor in the M&a Sector ?

Monday, July 14, 2014: 10:42 AM
Room: 414
Oral Presentation
Marie-Anne DUJARIER , Sorbonne Nouvelle / LISE (CNAM/CNRS), Paris, France
Valérie BOUSSARD , Sociology, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, Nanterre, France
This communication presents research evidences about peculiar Knowledge Workers : professionals who work in mergers and acquisitions Financial Services (M&A) as employees in consulting or financial firms. This professional group is structured by a “up or out” rule, with high turn-over and sharp selection. In order to keep their job or to be promoted, workers have to think and act in line with a peculiar way of representing  the firms they sell and buy. Hence, we investigate  the set of images, frameworks, language and meanings which is shared by this group of workers. We examine it as a social construction which institutionalize, and at the same time, is institutionalized (Berger and Luckmann, 1997).

The communication is based on a large sociological qualitative inquiry, conducted since 2011 (observations of work and more than 70 interviews with M&A French financiers) and an analysis of curriculum vitae of professionals of financial services. Theorical frame is mainly borrowed from sociology of professions and sociology of work and particularly French activities’s analysis.

We will briefly introduce the professional milieu and its occupants. We’ll then demonstrate that they construct a specific representation of the companies they sell and buy. We argue that this mechanism of subjectivation derives from 3 main social processes: daily activities (characterized by obedience and extra work), socialisation (limited) as well as professional pathways and careers.  We demonstrate that those workers are binded to narrow they representation of firms they sell and buy down to a set of abstract figures so as to stay as employee and, for a few of them, to reach the top.