Current Research Projects
I am, as usual, spread across a range of projects that speak back to accounting, economic sociology, organization studies, the sociology of finance and the sociology of calculation. In no particular order, these include:
Active Fund Management and Equity Analysts. This is a big beast of a project which covers fund managers and equity analysts. The main spine of this is an extensive series of interviews undertaken in London, New York and Chicago where we try to understand the changing dynamics between buy-side and sell-side intermediaries. We establish the social forces and dynamics that pertain to the fund management field, offering a major redress to current literature on financial intermediaries which tends to adopt economic frames. We have published a couple of articles from this and have a forthcoming book in 2024 with Columbia University Press, tentatively titled Inertia in Financial Markets. My main collaborators here are Yuval Millo (University of Warwick) and James Valentine (Marquette University) although am pursuing a number of related projects also with colleagues at King's (Guangyu Li, Zhong Chen & Mingzhu Wang), Glasgow (Mark Aleksanyan) and Loughborough (Ken Lee).
AI and Financial Services. There are two projects here relating to both Audit and Tax. On Audit, I am working with Rita Samiolo (King's) and Dorothy Toh (UCL) to explore how Audit has been reshaped by new digital technologies. On Tax, I am working with Vaughan Radcliffe and Mitch Stein (both at Western University, Canada) to explore the tensions between craftsmanship and efficiency vis-à-vis the rollout of new digital tools in the tax domain, drawing on Richard Sennett's sociological work. I benefitted from a Leverhulme Grant in 2020-2022 for both of these projects.
The development of credit scoring in China (with Yuval Millo and Ruowen Xu, both at the University of Warwick). This is based on Ruowen's PhD which involved an ethnography of credit scoring in a major tech company in China.
The intersections of class and entrepreneurship (with Grant Murray at Durham University and Chris Carter at the University of Edinburgh). This is based on Grant's PhD which involved an ethnography of an entrepreneurship hub in Edinburgh.
Professional Services Firms. Having previously conducted major comparative studies on the Big 4 with Chris Carter and others, I maintain an ongoing interest in this space and am currently looking at the 'cruel optimism' surrounding Big 4 careers with Simon Tan (University of Sydney) and Narisa Dai (University of International Business and Economics, Beijing) and the transitions made out of the Big 4 in Japan with Takahiro Endo (University of Victoria, Canada) and Saori Matsubara (Dokkyo University, Japan).