The system of professions: An essay on the division of expert labor.
ABSTRACT In "The System of Professions" Andrew Abbott explores central questions about the role of professions in modern life: Why should there be occupational groups controlling expert knowledge? Where and why did groups such as law and medicine achieve their power? Will professionalism spread throughout the occupational world? While most inquires in this field study one profession at a time, Abbott here considers the system of professions as a whole. Through comparative and historical study of the professions in nineteenth- and twentieth-century England, France, and America, Abbott builds a general theory of how and why professions evolve.
Abbott begins by evaluating the link—which he calls jurisdiction—between an occupation and its work. The concept of jurisdiction leads directly to an analysis of professions as existing in a system; since one profession can preempt another's work, the histories of professions are inevitably interdependent. Abbott goes on to discuss both internal and external cultural and social forces bearing on this system and closes by illustrating his approach with three detailed histories of contested jurisdictions, in the areas of information, law, and psychotherapy.
Underlying Abbott's theoretical synthesis is an explanation of how a division of labor—in this case a division of expert labor—constructs itself in modern society. In addressing this question, he also offers a powerful analysis of contingency that bridges the gap between analytic sociology and narrative history. Written with grace and clarity, this highly original treatise will be required reading for those interested in the history and sociology of the professions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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ABSTRACT: The rapid response system (RRS) is a patient safety initiative instituted to enable healthcare professionals to promptly access help when a patient’s status deteriorates. Despite patients meeting the criteria, up to one-third of the RRS cases that should be activated are not called, constituting a ‘‘missed RRS call’’. Using a case study approach, 10 focus groups of senior and junior nurses and physicians across four hospitals in Australia were conducted to gain greater insight into the social, professional and cultural factors that mediate the usage of the RRS. Participants’ experiences with the RRS were explored from an interprofessional and collective competence perspective. Health professionals’ reasons for not activating the RRS included: distinct intraprofessional clinical decision-making pathways; a highly hierarchical pathway in nursing, and a more autonomous pathway in medicine; and interprofessional communication barriers between nursing and medicine when deciding to make and actually making a RRS call. Participants also characterized the RRS as a work-around tool that is utilized when health professionals encounter problematic interprofessional communication. The results can be conceptualized as a form of collective incompetence that have important implications for the design and implementation of interprofessional patient safety initiatives, such as the RRS. http://informahealthcare.com/eprint/SuqtRDrSCuRqhyryaZhT/fullJournal of Interprofessional Care 11/2014; Early Online: 1–7. · 1.48 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Professional identity is constructed through boundary work at the macro and micro level. However there is little attention paid to the influence of the temporal dimensions of work on boundary work in professional groups where shift work is an essential feature. This study builds on empirical and theoretical knowledge of the influence of temporal structures of shift work upon professional identity construction and its expression in nursing. I present data from an observational study that analyses how critical care nurses construct professional identity in their work environment. Data were generated from 92 hours participant observation and semi-structured in-depth interviews of 13 critical care nurses working in a single Intensive Care Unit in Tasmania. Professional identity is constructed through intra-professional processes of similarity and difference, specifically in terms of politics, individual personalities and collaborative practice. These occur across the boundaries of three shifts that constitute the temporal dimensions of work within the Intensive Care Unit. I conclude consideration of the influence of temporality on professional identity extends our knowledge on intra-level boundary work, specifically in professions characterised by shift work.TASA Annual Conference, University of South Australia, Adelaide; 11/2014
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ABSTRACT: Universities today play two important roles in the systematic development of future professionals: They influence both the students’ entry into professional careers and the development of professionalism. Yet, the psychology of professional career entry and the development of professionalism among university students are not well-understood. This paper reports an empirical study of the nomological networks professional career motivation and (PCM) and professional attitudes, in relation to several professional outcomes of particular interest during the university education period. Specifically, we ask: can attitudinal professionalism be measured among university students? How is the motivation to pursue professional work related to having professional attitudes among university students? Using data collected from 873 undergraduates pursuing degrees leading toward accounting, teaching, banking and finance professions, we first develop a scale to measure professional attitudes among students. Next, we establish that while PCM better predicts professional career intention among students, professional attitudes are more associated with the students' professional identification and willingness to support transformation of the profession. We conclude that the motivation to be a professional does not necessarily related to having certain professional attitudes among university students and call for more empirical studies to understand the development of professionalism during the university period, particularly regarding to the attitudinal aspect. Research and practical implications of the findings are discussed.28th International Congress of Applied Psychology, Paris, France; 07/2014