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The Fearful and Anxious Professional: Partner Experiences of Working in the Financialized Professional Services Firm

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Abstract

This article explores the work and career of law firm partners in the context of a financialized organizational regime, highlighting the effects of performance measures and metrics on the ways partners see themselves and their careers. The empirical analysis reveals a sense of fear and anxiety as partners experience the scrutiny and pressure of financialized performance management. Furthermore, it reveals partners face contradictory demands as they are pushed to meet financial and ‘citizen’ objectives within the firm. The result is a career as a ‘project of the self’ that relies on various protection strategies and which results in professionals captured by ‘financialization’ and unable to assimilate its demands in ways that protect traditional professional values.

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Allan, S. M., Faulconbridge, J. R., & Thomas, P. (2019). The Fearful and Anxious Professional: Partner Experiences of Working in the Financialized Professional Services Firm. Work, Employment and Society, 33(1), 112–130. https://doi.org/10.1177/0950017018793348

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