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The price of corporate professionalisation : analysing the corporate capture of the professions in the UK and the consequences for expert labour

Paton, Steve and Hodgson, Damien and Muzio, Daniel (2013) The price of corporate professionalisation : analysing the corporate capture of the professions in the UK and the consequences for expert labour. New Technology, Work and Employment, 28 (3). 227–240. ISSN 0268-1072

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Abstract

Recent debates on the organisation of expert labour focus upon either the growing dominance of managerialism over traditional professions or the unwillingness/inability of new expert occupations to professionalise. Such arguments frequently disregard expert occupations which continue to deliberately pursue professionalisation to improve their status and influence in organisations and wider society, and therefore overlook the consequences of contemporary professionalization for expert labour. Here we critically examine one 'corporate profession', project management in the UK, where the Association for Project Management (APM) has pursued 'corporate professionalisation' by renegotiating relationships with the state, individual members and private corporations, with some degree of success. Combining documentary analysis and interviews with APM officials and practicing project managers, this article analyses the pressures behind the corporate professionalisation strategies of this expert occupation assessing the impact of moves towards a new model of corporate professionalism which marginalises the interests of professionals while embracing employer agendas.