The effects of organizational response on deprofessionalization: the case of stockbrokers 1975-1990

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Virginia Tech

This study investigates organizational response as a mediating factor in the relationship between environmental change and deprofessionalization of stockbrokers between the years 1975 and 1990. Both quantitative and qualitative content analysis are used to analyze 412 business news articles concerning three brokerage firms.

It is hypothesized that the environmental changes of jurisdictional competition resulting from deregulation of the industry, technological changes, and declining client trust resulting from scandals, will not have a direct effect on deprofessionalization of stockbrokers in these firms. It is expected, instead, that these environmental changes will be mediated by organizational responses, resulting in variation among the firms in the deprofessionalization of stockbrokers. The quantitative portion of the study shows different patterns of organizational response among the three firms examined regarding the environmental changes being investigated. The qualitative portion of the study indicates variation in deprofessionalization for stockbrokers within these firms resulting from differences in organizational response.

The results of this study suggest a need for further investigation of the effects of organizational responses on the extent of deprofessionalization for professionals working in organizations. Organizational responses are likely to influence not only stockbrokers but other professionals in times of change and flux due to events both internal and external to the organization.

environmental change, stock market deregulation