This dissertation focuses on a particular mentality found often in the quantitative and technical, professions. It is one of mathematically minded individuals (Toulmin 2001), with a fairly closed mentality, who sometimes struggle in dealing with the more ambiguous and uncertain reality of today's organizations. These individuals, referred to as Quants in this analysis, are usually obsessed with objectivity and prediction (Porter 1985) and form part of a particular strong culture (Kunda 2002) usually within Quantitative disciplines, but can also be found in all types of professions. The study takes a professional identity development approach to looking at this subject using narratives as the form of analysis. The objective is to study the narratives of the individuals in each case using ethnographic and open-interview methods so as to understand how the professionals sometimes struggle to "keep their narratives going" (Giddens, 1991) and use identity work techniques (Ibarra 1999, Pratt 2006) to resolve tensions. The Four cases of Quants in the study, show four prototypes of professional identity transformation and how each individual reacts differently in each case with the subsequent different effects on the individual mentalities. Much of the study takes part during the Economic crisis of 2008 and in one case the affects of this Crisis on the individual's identity transformation is quite dramatic. While this study has not focused on the Economic Crisis of 2008, it does focus on a mentality which was very prevalent during the Crisis, and influenced it to some extent, that of individuals who seek to predict social outcomes, reduce uncertainty to risk calculations, argue that markets are self correcting and believe that the more information the more certainty (Blyth 2010, Taleb 2007, Fox 2009).

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de l'Etraz Finochietto, Paris

The adaptation challenges of quantitatively minded professionals: Certain individuals in uncertain times

09/2011
itemDefault This dissertation focuses on a particular mentality found often in the quantitative and technical, professions. It is one of mathematically minded individuals (Toulmin 2001), with a fairly closed mentality, who sometimes struggle in dealing with the more ambiguous and uncertain reality of today's organizations. These individuals, referred to as Quants in this analysis, are usually obsessed with objectivity and prediction (Porter 1985) and form part of a particular strong culture (Kunda 2002) usually within Quantitative disciplines, but can also be found in all types of professions. The study takes a professional identity development approach to looking at this subject using narratives as the form of analysis. The objective is to study the narratives of the individuals in each case using ethnographic and open-interview methods so as to understand how the professionals sometimes struggle to "keep their narratives going" (Giddens, 1991) and use identity work techniques (Ibarra 1999, Pratt 2006) to resolve tensions. The Four cases of Quants in the study, show four prototypes of professional identity transformation and how each individual reacts differently in each case with the subsequent different effects on the individual mentalities. Much of the study takes part during the Economic crisis of 2008 and in one case the affects of this Crisis on the individual's identity transformation is quite dramatic. While this study has not focused on the Economic Crisis of 2008, it does focus on a mentality which was very prevalent during the Crisis, and influenced it to some extent, that of individuals who seek to predict social outcomes, reduce uncertainty to risk calculations, argue that markets are self correcting and believe that the more information the more certainty (Blyth 2010, Taleb 2007, Fox 2009).
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The adaptation challenges of quantitatively minded professionals: Certain individuals in uncertain times
de l'Etraz Finochietto, Paris
Universitat Ramon Llull (URL). ESADE

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