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Towards corporate professionalization:the case of project management, management consultancy and executive search

Muzio, Daniel and Hodgson, Damian and Faulconbridge, James and Beaverstock, Jonathan and Hall, Sarah (2011) Towards corporate professionalization:the case of project management, management consultancy and executive search. Current Sociology, 59 (4). pp. 443-464. ISSN 1461-7064

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Abstract

This article explores patterns of professionalization in a number of ‘new’ knowledge-based occupations: management consultancy, project management and executive headhunters. Against a general assumption in the literature that such occupations are unwilling and/ or incapable to professionalize, this article suggests how a professionalization project has indeed been in play within these occupational domains. Perhaps most interestingly, these occupations are developing a new pattern of ‘corporate’ professionalization which departs in significant ways from established paths and which is more appropriate for the specific knowledge-bases, occupational characteristics and historical circumstances of these occupations. Using semi-structured interviews with key institutional protagonists, the analysis identifies some new features of corporate professionalization, which despite differences in occupational structure and history, are common to the three professions under review and which may be relevant to a broader range of knowledge-based occupations. These include: organizational membership, client engagement, competence-based closure and internationalization. The article then proceeds to compare and contrast these new professionalization strategies and tactics with the more traditional processes followed by the established professions. Corporate professionalization, it is then argued, may present the basis for a new pattern of collective mobility and for a new understanding of professionalism in the 21st century.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Current Sociology
Uncontrolled Keywords: executive search ; management consultancy ; new professionalism ; professionalization ; project management
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 49155
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 25 Jul 2011 14:26
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2013 09:39
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/49155

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