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Title: Making sense of the organisation : being new and the use of metaphors among trainee investment bankers
Author: Nuernberg, Carola
ISNI:       0000 0004 2685 1460
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2010
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This study explores how organisational newcomers use metaphorical concepts to understand themselves and their organisation. Particular attention is devoted to local and situated use of these concepts. The study also monitors changes in newcomers' understanding over time and the impact organisational socialisation practices have on newcomers. A comparative, interview-based, longitudinal study, narrative interviews took place over a one-year period with newcomers in different trainee programmes in three sub-units of a company. Additional data was collected on field trips and in participant observations. I employed a thematic analysis to examine the data for all three groups; a systematic metaphor analysis (Schmitt, 2005) to compare and contrast the experiences of newcomers in the Operations and Investment Banking units; and social representations theory (Jovchelovitch, 2007) to frame and interpret the findings. Findings: A) Newcomer experience is similar across all three groups in two respects: Firstly, most newcomers experience local organisational discontinuities; secondly, the organisation itself, although an important reference unit in many quantitative studies of newcomer socialisation and studies of organisational metaphors, is of little relevance to newcomers. The local group or the industry are more important. The organisation only becomes visible through its socialisation practices and meaning-making activities. B) The experience of being new develops significantly differently across organisational sub-units. Thematically, this generates different notions of control and different future hopes. Metaphorically, Operations and Investment Banking newcomers also make contrasting use of identical metaphorical concepts. For example, with 'collaboration' Operations newcomers use network images, emphasizing cooperation and connection; Investment Banking newcomers use fighting images, suggesting confrontation and threat. C) The Investment Banking newcomers' experience stands out as an all-encompassing experience, profoundly separating them from other areas of life and closely linking them to team practices and the industry.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available