The Art of Knowing: An Ethnography Inside a Financial Services Organization

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph


Continuous change and uncertainty is the new normal. In organizational life, contradictions and tensions are ubiquitous, driven in part by the often self-interested interplay between different knowledge traditions.

Today’s professionals are being challenged as never before to broaden their competence and collaborate across traditional boundaries. We need a fresh approach to capitalize the value of knowledge as the firm’s most strategically significant resource, and this study picks out the artistic nature of knowing and its inherent relationship with power.

The Art of Knowing develops the ability to reflect and think paradoxically in the face of uncertainty, ambiguity and contradiction, by extending ourselves into the subsidiary awareness of particulars that compose a whole.

I want to inspire practitioners to accept and engage in reflective practice, reinforcing paradoxical thinking into complex situations. To deliver leading, sustainable performance.

Our true power to deal with the conflicts and contradictions of different knowledge traditions comes from the ability to distinguish between practical and discursive consciousness, while recognizing the subsidiary-focal integrative structure.

This ethnographic longitudinal study inside a financial services organization examines professional practice and the dynamics of operating across different business segments. Working in and researching the target organization gave me unique access to people and processes to gather empirical material in 2013-2019.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
  • Kock, Sören, Degree supervisor
Award date17.06.2021
Place of PublicationHelsinki
Print ISBNs978-952-232-431-3
Electronic ISBNs978-952-232-432-0
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)


  • 512 Business and Management
  • knowing
  • power
  • practice
  • ethnography


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