Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring Factors That Enabled Financial Advisors and Their Firms to Improve Professional Performance After 2008
by Mathes, Mark D., Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2014, 185; 3577885
Abstract (Summary)

The 2008 financial crisis in the United States (U.S) resulted in a pervasive loss of wealth by individuals, revenues by governments and credibility by institutions. The problem addressed in this mixed methods investigation was that investors experienced an immense erosion of faith and confidence in financial advisors (FAs) and their firms during this period. However, public trust in financial professionals and institutions are essential requirements for effectively functioning financial and securities' markets. The purpose of this study was to examine how strategies and leadership styles were employed by advisors after 2008 to improve professional perfomance levels by rebuilding trusting client relationships. The research design required the parallel mixing of a predominant qualitative strand with a nested and supportive quantitative facet to provide for conclusions derived from each component. The primary element was centered on participants' descriptions of their lived experiences and the application of a phenomenological approach to data analysis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with two FAs from each of six regions in the U.S., representing seven firms. Findings were portrayed in a composite description of all 12 participants' experiences in the form of 14 elucidated and emergent themes. Key results showed that FAs with improved perfomance (75%) worked harder to systematize client communication, segregate client bases, and restructure their practices to become more client-centric. The MLQ 5X-short (MLQ) was utilized in the quantitative research to measure how advisors' leadership styles were correlated to their performances in 2009 and beyond. The 390 advisors who completed the survey, from 27 states and representing 12 firms, also provided demographic information. Results indicated that most (92.1%) had improved performance and relied upon a transformational style of leadership (42.8%). A chi-square test of independence was conducted to examine the relationship between leadership style and FA performance improvement. A statistically significant result indicated that the null hypothesis could be rejected (&khgr; 2 (2, N= 390) = 12.488,p = .002). Future research should focus on determining if FAs are client-centric or investment centric, using the MLQ to evaluate advisors from alternate perspectives, and how trust and confidence in financial services firms has been restored.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rosenberger, Joshua
Commitee:
School: Northcentral University
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 75/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Business administration, Management, Finance
Keywords: 2008 Financial crisis, Financial advisor, Leadership, Mixed methods research, Phenomenology
Publication Number: 3577885
ISBN: 978-1-303-65788-7
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