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The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Business Administration

No 2009:8:
Trading Trust - Post-Aristocratic Finance in the City of Stockholm

Peter Norberg ()

Abstract:

Purpose

The article aims to answer the question if particular values make for particular forms of trust.

Design/methodology/approach

In the present article, interviews and conversations the author has made with twenty-one employees in Swedish brokerage firms, merchant banks and mutual funds play the foremost empirical role. The informants range from stockbrokers, traders and market makers to managing directors of brokerage firms.

Findings

Trust is still important in the financial market, but researchers need to account for the new condition when finance means working with information technology and increasingly abstract instruments. Financial organizations are well described as networks while being informally structured, and characterised by an inward bonding that is cultural rather than formal.

The article argues that social bonding, building upon the values and ideology of employees replaces the class-based identification that has previously characterised the Stockholm financial market. With increasingly hedonist attitudes, employees in finance form a more fluent, neo-tribal sociality. Studying at a business school, and interacting socially at work forms values and constructs an elitist identity in finance. This type of sociality consists in sharing a lifestyle and having work identities that dominate their private identities.

Originality/value

The present piece of research views agents as driven by a plurality of motivations and rationalities.

Keywords: neo-tribes; stockbrokers; financial networks; trust; (follow links to similar papers)

19 pages, April 2, 2009

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