What Do I Do if I Don't Have Familiarity with The Industry Being Investigated?
Aug. 23, 2021
What do you do if you don't understand the industry you're being asked to investigate? You are not usually being asked to learn about an industry, you're typically being asked to learn about human behaviors. And obviously, the financial pressures and character types that are drawn to certain industries are going to influence the nature of your investigation. But ultimately, I don't need to understand the stock market to investigate a group of stock traders, because it's the human involvement. I may need to understand some of what they're feeling as pressure within that industry to comprehend why maybe they feel fear about a certain person's tone. Maybe there are industry influences colliding with personalities that I do need to comprehend, but somebody needs to explain that to you in the interview or else it does not come into the investigation.
Generally speaking, it can be helpful to have the basics of an industry, but you're ultimately investigating human behaviors that may or may not be influenced by industry, but definitely are influenced by the way they engage with other human behaviors, either harassment, discrimination, intimidation, hostile work environment. Any of those types of claims come down to human engagement with each other, not human engagement with the industry they're working in. I challenge each of you as investigators to fall back on what you know about proving up and investigating workplace concerns because, ultimately, you are investigating humans and not industries.