Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore how social forces are imposed on fund managers when they do their jobs of observing company information, in particular intellectual capital (IC) information. Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses a qualitative research approach involving interviews with 14 fund managers in Stockholm. The empirical analysis and the theoretical discussion are influenced by a combination of system and network theories where social networks are built up by communication. Findings – Fund managers are influenced by the rationale of social networks when they reduce the complexity in company information. Three social forces emerged from the empirical data which influence fund managers when they deal with corporate information; the involvement of the organisational code, the market price and rationale, and the agenda surrounding a company. Furthermore, increased complexity of IC information does not seem to bother fund managers. The rationale of interacting social networks reduces this complexity in order for the information to make sense in its meaning-based reproduction. Originality/value – This paper argues that in order to deepen our understanding about the communication between companies and actors on the capital market we need to open up the issue of how complexity is dealt with. Based on the theoretical framework used in the study, information barriers become variables between the rationales of social networks.
Fund management, Intellectual capital, Social networks, Sweden, Systems theory
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