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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Focused upon occupational professionals in an organizational context, and their transition towards being a managerial or commercial hybrid, the authors of this chapter debate whether such a transition represents progressive or regressive professionalism. They balance consideration of agency enacted by the individual professional, with that of the institutional challenge transition constitutes. They highlight the extent to which the individual professional can enact agency is influenced by their status. A powerful professional may be able to blend, buffer, or decouple competing institutional logics, and so remain in control of the transition to retain their autonomy and even aggrandize their status. Simultaneously, organizations may gain from more efficient and effective utilization of resource across the wider client population. If transition towards hybrid professional identity is thus seen as desirable by both organizations and professionals, then organizational support is required, in large part to socialize the incoming role holder towards the demands of the new role through liminal spaces, specifically networks, education, and mentoring. Nevertheless, in their analysis, the authors caution taking an overly optimistic view of hybrid transition. Lower status professionals may experience reduced levels of personal control through interventions that foist on them managerial or commercial identities. In short, we need to take a more nuanced view of professional responses to hybrid transitions.

Keywords: professionals, hybrid, identity, institutional theory, agency

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