Doctoral thesis

Writing in finance : improving the communicative potential of financial analysts' recommendations


254 p.

Thèse de doctorat: Università della Svizzera italiana, 2022 (jury note: Summa cum laude)

English This doctoral thesis identifies and analyses problems of text production in finance from three complementary perspectives and explains why solving these problems benefits theory, practice, and society at large. Part I, Problem Identification, outlines the current situation of writing in finance, its problems and their consequences on the financial community and on society at large, entailing the definition of the research question. Then, the research framework of transdisciplinary, i.e., the thorough collaboration with practitioners from the financial community is outlined, and the working definitions for the key terms related to this transdisciplinary framework are provided. The part is summarized by a sketch of the overarching rationale and research architecture. Part II, Problem Analysis, investigates the object of research from three complementary perspectives. First, from the context perspective, drawing on a longitudinal ethnography of 25 years in the banking sector, and based on interviews with financial journalists, applying ethnographic context analysis and Grounded Theory. Second, from the product perspective, focussing on extracts from a corpus of roughly 2100 financial analyses, applying pragmatic text analysis and using elements from critical discourse analysis. Third, from the process perspective, drawing on 182 statements from participants in writing courses, and based on a poll conducted with retail investors, using half-standardized interviews and questionnaires. Part III, Problem Solution, begins with defining the starting point for research-based measures, and describes the selection and the implementation of good practices and working techniques. It then discusses the interventions carried out in the form of coaching for individual writers, training for groups of writers, and organisational development for writing organisations. On this basis, the added value of the interventions is evaluated for financial analysts, their organisations, the financial community, society at large, as well as for research and theory. Taking stock, this doctoral thesis carries out a research project in transdisciplinary collaboration from the very first to the very last step and proposes evaluated and valid measures to improve writing in finance.
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