Trends in the Financial Profession

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This annotated bibliography is based on three trends in the financial profession. First, diversity at workplaces is now a major topic. It is observed that financial companies now face immense pressure to embrace diversity. While most of these institutions continue to discuss the issue of diversity, equal opportunities are not available for all. Second, innovation and technology have been important in the financial services industry, but now they continue to become all-important elements as the industry becomes dynamic and competitive. Finally, high turnover of millennials is expected to continue in the industry. Most millennials do not intend to stay for long in their current jobs and only consider the industry as a career launch pad. High turnover is associated with missed strategic initiatives and growth in the industry. The search was conducted using key words associated with the three trends. All articles used were peer-reviewed.

George, G., Haas, M. R., & Pentland, A. (2014). Big data and management. Academy of Management Journal, 57(2), 321-326. Web.

The article shows the relevance of big data for modern organizations. It is observed that big data, business analytics, and smart technologies have gained considerable attention in the recent past. Conversations around these innovative approaches are primarily practice driven, and firms continue to seek for new methods to exploit large volumes of data for capturing and creating value for firms, individuals, communities and other stakeholders. As such, many firms now rely on huge volumes of data often stored in terabytes or petabytes to predict outcomes precisely. The researcher shows that machine learning or Web analytics could be used to predict certain actions, behaviors, consumer preferences, traffic patterns or even pandemic. The article focuses on big data datasets to demonstrate that multiple opportunities are available for organizations to gather and analyze such data and gain significant insights on customer behaviors and preferences among others from their communications. The authors demonstrate that organizations can mine data from various sources, such as social media, to learn about patterns that can assist to create new products and markets. In fact, they can now collect data on real time basis from various tweets, posts, or reviews for developing longitudinal data.

Overall, the article points out that big data offers massive opportunities for innovative, technology-driven firms, which is now a major factor in the financial services industry as fintech start-ups apply such techniques to disrupt traditional institutions.

Holmes, R. M., Zahra, S. A., Hoskisson, R. E., DeGhetto, K., & Sutton, T. (2016). Two-way streets: The role of institutions and technology policy in firms’ corporate entrepreneurship and political strategies. Academy of Management Perspectives, 30(3), 247-272. Web.

This article points out that technology policy is critical for enhancing opportunities and incentives that companies have to innovate and adjust to changing business landscapes and, therefore, has relevant implications for strategy and entrepreneurship. Nevertheless, the authors observe that no meaningful research is available on technology policy. The researchers understand the conflicts that emanate when governments are engaged in economy. That is, governments can hinder or promote economies through policies. Specifically, they can implement technology policies to enhance and support innovative activities of firms. Policies on innovation, in turn, influence strategic and political choices that companies make to attain and sustain their edge and impact the entire industry. Thus, technology policies, according to the authors, should be seen from state funding for research and state protection of intellectual property. The authors highlight that technology policies ultimately influence the corporate entrepreneurship strategies, which impact companies’ innovation and adaptation capabilities. In addition, technology policies also affect political strategies that companies adopt to strive and attain advantages associated with technology policies. The authors point out that various players have different goals, incentives, capabilities, and power based on technology policies.

This article shows that companies should leverage benefit from state policies that promote research and intellectual property protection to improve their technology and innovative capabilities for creating competitive edge in the financial services industry.

Özçelik, G. (2015). Engagement and retention of the millennial generation in the workplace through internal branding. International Journal of Business and Management, 10(3), 99-107. Web.

Özçelik notes that current firms operate in strong competitive environments, and a focus on exceptional customer service is vital for excellent performance. Therefore, many firms have strived to improve their brands and create positive image for both customers and employees. The article depicts that effective engagement of human resource activities to help employees to internalize brand in their work behaviour is a field of interest because it has created the concept of internal branding. Internal branding is seen as an approach that firms use to encourage their workforce to engage in nurturing of a brand by participation. To this end, the author recognizes that modern workforce is dynamic and always evolving because of younger employees entering the workplace. The younger generation has entered to workplaces and introduced new demographic characteristics, which have affected work orientation and ultimately altered the rules of engagement in organizations. The researcher demonstrates that millennials at the workplace brings about a different work orientation and other issues. The article shows that organizations that want to enhance internal branding and reduce turnover must understand unique needs of millennials, such as flexible work hours, project diversity, a fun workplace, and improved learning. They prefer work-life balance and privacy for family and personal lives. Organizations that offer these opportunities create loyal employees who are most likely to stay for longer periods and reduce high rates of attrition associated with millennials. As a result, organizations are more likely to realize their internal branding efforts when millennials are engaged in their works.

Organizations should ensure that corporate management and human resource practices are appropriate for recruitment, selection, training, and rewarding employees to ensure that high turnover of millennials is controlled.

Roberson, Q. M., & Park, H. J. (2007). Examining the link between diversity and firm performance: the effects of diversity reputation and leader racial diversity. Group & Organization Management, 32(5), 548-568. Web.

This article is based on the observation that the 21st century workforce consists of more women and personnel with different ethnic backgrounds, lifestyles, and intergenerational variations relative to the past. In addition, most executives have also noted how these demographic differences in workplaces can be effectively and professionally managed to enhance organizational performance and competitive edge. For organizations to realize their success in advancing diverse and inclusive workplaces, they generally benchmark against firms that are viewed as leaders in diversity, especially the best performing firms, such as Google, Apple, IBM, Coca-Cola and other firms found in the Fortune list. It is assumed that organizations found in such lists are more diverse, have embraced successful diversity programs and realized positive impacts of diversity. Robertson and Park noted the inadequacy of empirical data on effects of diversity on organizational performance and conducted a longitudinal study across 100 companies to determine impacts of diversity status and leader racial diversity on organizational financial performances. The findings indicate a positive association between diversity status and performances. The article demonstrates that economic advantages that emanate from diversity status may generally come from capital instead of product markets. In addition, the authors also note that performance declined by later on increased as many minorities were represented in firms.

Financial services industry still does not provide equal opportunities for all. However, results from this study should provide confidence in executives to include more people from diverse backgrounds into their managerial and executive teams to improve overall organizational performance.

Spencer, J., & Muchnick, M. (2015). Should we undo the flat organization: accommodating needy millennial generation workers. European Journal of Contemporary Economics and Management, 2(2), 14-28.

Spencer and Muchnick trace the root of organization flattening that started in the 1980s and proceeded to 1990s. The strategy was intended to enhance profitability per employee and introduce a new contemporary and an operational organizational structure. However, the new generation of managers (generation Y) brought about significant changes and challenged the flat organization. This article asserts that this new generation of employees introduced new problems to organizations. The authors argue that one major factor responsible for the high rate attrition among millennials is the flattening of organizations, which created few opportunities for career advancement and promotion for new employees. As such, there is a need for corporations to transform internal management practices to adapt to the needs of millennial workers. They also claim that transforming the work environment is imperative for employees because of effects of workplace perception on employee performance. The article shows that modern organizations now respond to high rates of turnover associated with millennials. Consequently, organizations now seek to redesign their management practices to reduce job dissatisfaction, absenteeism, and attrition. Spencer and Muchnick propose changes in interpersonal managerial approaches, as well as changes in organizational structure to boost employee morale, loyalty, and curtail high rate of attrition.

This study demonstrates that a flat organizational structure can no longer meet the needs of millennial employees and, they would leave organizations that do not offer promotions. Hence, modern organizations should review their internal structures to reduce millennial high turnover rate.

Yang, Y., & Konrad, A. M. (2011). Understanding diversity management practices: implications of institutional theory and resource-based theory. Group & Organization Management, 36(1), 6–38. Web.

This article shows that diversity management practices are a series of formalized practices formulated and enacted by companies to run diversity sufficiently for all organizational stakeholders. The authors note that there is a business case for diversity, and firms must embrace diversity irrespective of whether it offers opportunities for competitive edge or not. Hence, they strive to create systems that support diversity in the workplace. Yang and Konrad used resource-based theory and institutional theory to explain diversity in organizations. The authors showed that by applying resource-based theory, diversity management efforts have direct impacts on the intermediate results of creating a rare and inimitable diversity of human capital. These outcomes are thought to result in performance advantages. From the institutional perspective, resemblances found in managers’ educational and professional experience are component of organizational similarities or correspondences noted in business models, practices and structures. On this note, the researchers show that assessing individualities of diversity managers and diversity-related professional elements can enhance comprehension of development of practices for diversity management and influence of related pressures on the enactment of diversity management approaches.

Diversity and inclusion of minorities remain are yet to be realized despite ongoing conversation in most financial institutions. This article demonstrates that organizations should understand factors that influence diversity and determine the best ways to implement it.

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