Contestation About Collaboration: Discursive Boundary Work Among Professions
Organization Studies, 37(4), 497-522.
52 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2018
Date Written: January 22, 2016
We examine how professions responded to a potential change in jurisdictional boundaries by analyzing the written submissions of five professional associations in reaction to a government proposal to strengthen interprofessional collaboration, relating these responses to the professions’ field positions. We identify four foci for framing used by the professions to discursively develop their boundary claims: (1) framing the issue of interprofessional collaboration (issue framing), (2) framing of justifications for favored solutions (justifying), (3) framing the profession’s own identity (self-casting), and (4) framing other professions’ identities (altercasting). We find that professions employed these foci differently depending on two dimensions of their field positions – status and centrality. Our study contributes to the literature by identifying distinctive ways through which the foci for framing may be mobilized in situations of boundary contestation, and by theorizing how field position in terms of status and centrality influences actors’ framing strategies.
Keywords: boundary work, framing, health care, professions
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