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The 23rd EGOS Colloquium 2007  
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Sub-theme 32:
Professions, institutions and change

 

Convenors:

Roy Suddaby, Alberta School of Business, University of Alberta (Canada)

Royston Greenwood, Alberta School of Business, University of Alberta (Canada)

Kerstin Sahlin-Andersson, Uppsala University (Sweden)
 

Call for papers

Institutional theory acknowledges the prominent role that professions play both in processes of isomorphic reproduction of existing social structures and in the creation of new social structures. More recently, institutional theorists have turned their attention to the role of professions as sites of institutional conflict, the role of large professional organizations as agents of institutional change and the co-evolution of professions and economic institutions.

While past research acknowledges the intimate relationship between professions, institutions and change, the precise nature of their interconnection has been largely ignored. In particular, the study of professions, once a central theme of organization theory, has recently been relatively neglected. We propose that professions are key agents of institutional change and that processes of professionalization are one of the primary engines of institutional change. The purpose of this track is to stimulate and connect theory and research in this area and to reintroduce professions as a context for researching institutional change.

We welcome empirical and theoretical papers that examine the relationship between professions, institutions and change. Specifically, we are interested in papers that explore the ways in which processes of professionalization stimulate change in institutions and vice versa. Thus we invite papers that explore such issues as:

  • the emergence of new professions and new occupational categories

  • the professionalization of new social contexts (i.e., management, education)

  • changes in professional logics or changes in the regulatory logics of professions

  • the growth and elaboration of professional networks

  • the influence of changes in institutional structures (e.g. regulations) upon the practices and organization of professions

Further, we are interested in papers that explore the interaction of professions and other institutional structures, including:

  • the co-evolution of professional and economic institutions

  • the changing relationship between professions and states

  • processes of globalization of professions and professional firms

  • jurisdictional conflict between professions

Finally we encourage papers that offer insights into the ways in which processes of professionalization promote the transnational diffusion and translation of institutional logics, including:

  • the role of professions in promoting global institutional standards

  • the role of professions and rational world systems

  • the influence of national institutions upon emerging transnational professional agencies

We welcome papers that take stock of existing knowledge and apply it to new contexts. We also welcome papers that bring new perspectives, new methods and new assumptions to understanding the role of professions in promoting and shaping institutional change.

About the convenors

Roy Suddaby is an assistant professor at the Alberta School of Business with a joint appointment in the departments of Accounting & Management Information Systems and Strategic Management and Organization. Roy’s theoretical focus is on processes of institutional change. His primary empirical context is professional service firms. His research has been published in Administrative Science Quarterly, the Academy of Management Journal, the Journal of Organizational Behavior and Human Relations. Roy serves on the editorial boards of the Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal and Organization Studies.

Royston Greenwood is professor of strategic management and associate dean (research) at the School of Business, University of Alberta. His research focuses upon the dynamics of institutional change in professional contexts and has been published in leading European and North American journals. He currently serves on the editorial boards of the Academy of Management Journal, the Journal of Management Studies, Organization Science and Organization Studies.

Kerstin Sahlin-Andersson is professor of management at Uppsala University, Sweden. Her research focuses on transnational regulation, institutional change, management knowledge, changing relations between public and private organizations and on reforms in professionally dominated organizations. She has published a number of books and articles. She has served on the EGOS board and is presently on the editorial board of Organization Studies, Journal of Management Inquiry, International Review of Administrative Sciences and Regulation and Governance.