Employee motivation underexternal control : A study of financial advisors at large Swedish firms

University essay from Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, Företagsekonomi; Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, Företagsekonomi


Background – Due to the increased complexity of the Swedish financial market, the increased demand for financial services and the increased number of financial advisors, the role of financial advisors is important on the financial market. The external control from Finansinspektionen has been increased in order to eliminate rogue advisors and this type of control often affects employees’ motivation in a negative way. Because of the important role financial advisors have on the financial market, it is essential that they are motivated in order to perform well in their profession. 

Purpose – The purpose of this study is to investigate how the external control affects the work motivation of financial advisors and how motivational factors could be used when designing a management control system in a context characterized by high external control. To answer this purpose, this thesis answers these following three research questions:

  1. What do financial advisors perceive to be the most effective motivational factors?
  2. How does the external control influence the motivation of financial advisors?
  3. How could the work be designed to maximize the motivation of financial advisors?

Method – In order to fulfill the purpose of this study, we have a qualitative approach were we conducted ten semi-structured interviews with financial advisors. The financial advisors are working at two large Swedish financial advisory companies.

Findings/Conclusion – After analyzing the empirical data, with relevant theories, interesting findings were made. In general, the external control from Finansinspektionen is interpreted as unmotivating by financial advisors. To counter this, it is important that the employers invest resources to develop IT-systems that minimize the time spent on these work tasks. The administrative work, which arises from the external control, would become more effective and not so time consuming. The management control systems must be designed so that they maximize the motivation of the advisors. Employers must also use correctly designed reward systems in order to have motivated employees.

Practical Implications – This study contributes to important findings for managers in Swedish financial advisory companies. Since the management control systems could be designed in another way to maximize the motivation of the financial advisors, this study is an important contribution to the financial sector, where the financial advisors operate.

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