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Title: Beyond the question : an interactionist study of Q & A sequences in oral financial results presentations
Authors: Schneider, Stefanie
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: In this PhD Thesis the researcher applies the method of 'Conversation Analysis' from the field of linguistics to a setting in financial reporting. Conversation Analysis, short CA, is a qualitative method for the systematic study of social interaction. The foundation of analysis are detailed transcripts that enable the researcher to examine how institutional roles are understood and acted out through talk, or "how institutions are talked into being". The data set contains of Q & A sessions held after interim and annual results presentations by six major British investment banks in 2015. All banks are listed at the London Stock Exchange, were part of the FTSE100 in 2014, and uploaded video or audio files of meetings and conference calls on financial results in form of webcasts. Overall more than 13 hours of interactions between financial analysts and the management of respective corporations have been recorded and analysed. The study aims to show how that financial analysts make an effort in demonstrating cooperation and social solidarity with management in public interactions, and it is argued that both the financial analyst’s and the management’s behaviour construct the setting as one that enforces transparency. The findings of the study are organised as follows: Firstly, it is analysed how financial analysts perform their role publicly, by examining how patterns in question design demonstrate knowledgeability and entitlement to further information. The second empirical chapter shows how analysts do “being sceptical” when phrasing initial questions, and especially when following up on an answer. This was found to be accomplished by interactants through adopting one of two roles: The “puzzled” analyst, or the “diagnosing analyst”. It is argued that financial analysts use contrast structures to demonstrate affiliation instead of explicitly challenging the management’s accounts. Lastly, a third empirical chapter is dedicated to laughter in this setting. Both analysts and management use laughter to mitigate socially risky actions, like managing speaking rights, withholding information, or when challenging the askability of a question, which results in the co-creation of information request denials.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:Newcastle University Business School

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