Something Old, Something New?: Competing Logics and the Hybrid Nature of New Corporate Professions

15 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2015

See all articles by Damian Hodgson

Damian Hodgson

University of Manchester - Manchester Business School

Steve Paton

University of Strathclyde - Department of Organisation and Strategy

Daniel Muzio

University of Newcastle

Date Written: October 2015

Abstract

The professionalization of certain management occupations, such as project management and human resource management, has been neglected in recent debates on professions, which instead focus upon the deregulation of collegial professions or the failure or unwillingness of new expert occupations to professionalize. Project management represents one of a handful of ‘management professions’ which confound this interpretation, explicitly pursuing a ‘corporate professionalization’ project with some degree of success. This paper focuses on the strategic activities of the principal British professional association in this field, the Association for Project Management (APM), as it negotiates a path between exploiting established sources of legitimacy and exploring a novel conception of professionalism. In the process, the association manipulates collegial and corporate logics of professionalism, in terms of its relationships with key stakeholders, its global orientation, its knowledge base and strategies of occupational closure. Drawing on interviews with APM officials and broader documentary analysis, we analyse the conditions which have produced this hybrid model of professionalism, highlighting the pragmatic management of tensions through the combination of distinct, even contradictory, professionalization logics.

Suggested Citation

Hodgson, Damian and Paton, Steve and Muzio, Daniel, Something Old, Something New?: Competing Logics and the Hybrid Nature of New Corporate Professions (October 2015). British Journal of Management, Vol. 26, Issue 4, pp. 745-759, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2675644 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8551.12105

Damian Hodgson (Contact Author)

University of Manchester - Manchester Business School ( email )

Booth Street West
Manchester, M15 6PB
United Kingdom

Steve Paton

University of Strathclyde - Department of Organisation and Strategy ( email )

Glasgow City, G1 1XQ
United Kingdom

Daniel Muzio

University of Newcastle ( email )

5 Barrack Road
Devonshire Building
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, NE1 7RU
United Kingdom

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