The knowledge base of companies is increasingly seen as underlying a firm's performance, and the role of knowledge workers within this framework is seen as strongly associated with a firm's competitive performance. This perspective views the effective management of knowledge workers
as crucial in sustaining an organisation's competitive advantage. The paper views the financial industry as a knowledge intensive sector which nurtures the idea that financial firms rely on specialists' knowledge or expertise relating to a specific technical and functional domain. It is an
exploratory study that aims to investigate the motivational needs of, and organisational environments best suited to, company analysts within the Japanese financial system. It identifies three key motivators as having an impact on the company analysts: monetary incentives; human resource development;
and job autonomy. The paper concludes that the traditional Japanese management system is incompatible with the expectations of company analysts in the Japanese financial industry.