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When capital market actors reduce the complexity of corporate personnel and work environment information

Roland Almqvist (School of Business, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden School of Business, Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden)
Johan Henningsson (School of Business, Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden)

Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting

ISSN: 1401-338X

Article publication date: 23 February 2009

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how capital market actors deal with information on personnel and work environment.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a qualitative research approach involving interviews with 14 fund managers and two bankers in Stockholm. The empirical analysis is influenced by a combination of system and network theories where social networks are imposed on capital market actors, when they observe corporate information vis‐à‐vis personnel and work environment.

Findings

Capital market actors are influenced by social forces when they reduce the complexity of information on corporate personnel and work environment. Four themes emerged in this study concerning emergent paradoxes which results from such a reduction. First, capital market actors seem to regard personnel in a variety of ways: sometimes as a resource, and sometimes as a risk or a non‐flexible cost problem. Second, they tend to reduce the complexity of information by depending on having the right management in organisations. Third, capital market actors refer to work environment matters as things that involve ethics and can affect their own reputation. Finally, they were continuously looking for signs that their initial analyses could be wrong. To various extents, the themes support each other by solving the emergent paradoxes that, according to systems theory, inevitably result from the reduction of external complexity.

Originality/value

This paper argues that the ambivalence and disinterest shown by capital‐market actors concerning information on personnel and work environment could be better understood by referring to how social forces influence capital‐market actors when they reduce the complexity of such information.

Keywords

Citation

Almqvist, R. and Henningsson, J. (2009), "When capital market actors reduce the complexity of corporate personnel and work environment information", Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 46-60. https://doi.org/10.1108/14013380910948072

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited