Methods of Inquiry on Trust in Wealth Management

  • Andrew Lo

Student thesis: Doctor of Business Administration


The aim of this thesis “Methods of Inquiry on Trust in Wealth Management” is to propose multiple paradigms framework as a methodology of inquiry to investigate business issues in the practice of wealth management. The multiple paradigms framework of Burrell and Morgan (1979) is referenced for analysis. The introduction chapter explains my ontological assumption on trust, the grounds for choosing Burrell and Morgan’s sociological paradigms and the rationale for the journal format thesis. Then, empirical research in three paradigms taking different assumptions regarding the nature of social science and the nature of social relations is undertaken and discussed in separate chapters. A different research method is used for each paradigm inquiry: qualitative for the Interpretive paradigm, quantitative method for the Functionalist paradigm, and longitudinal multi-method for the Radical Structuralist paradigm. The thesis contributes to new knowledge in these areas: by proposing multiple paradigms to study trust in the context of wealth management, by developing a construct of behavioural trust together with an interpretive framework of trust for private banking, by developing a construct of investment behaviour in terms of decision control as a proxy of trust, and by adding to the multiple paradigm literature by formulating an “essence” - an integrative conclusion drawing from findings from different paradigms. Managerial implications with potential to improve wealth management practice are discussed in each of the paradigms and in the conclusion chapter.
Date of Award31 Dec 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorJames Wood (Supervisor)


  • trust
  • wealth management
  • paradigm
  • research method

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