1st Edition

Knowledge Sharing in Professions Roles and Identity in Expert Communities

By Alexander Styhre Copyright 2011

    No professional is an island. Despite their capacity to monopolize and erect entry barriers in terms of either formal credentials or membership of certain organizations, professionalism is inextricably bound up with collective accomplishments on a day-to-day basis and the capacity to share all the resources that constitute the professional domain of expertise. Knowledge Sharing in Professions looks at professionalism as a form of systematic and institutionalized knowledge sharing. It analyses professionalism through the everyday practices in professional communities and the organizations where they work. Three empirical studies, of pharmaceutical clinical trials researchers, management consultants, and architects, are presented, serving to illustrate the relational nature of these and other professions, and how members of professional communities are constantly exchanging data, information, and know-how in their everyday work. Alexander Styhre seeks to understand the role of professions and other forms of experts in contemporary society on the basis of complementary perspectives, that is to say, the communal and collegial nature of professional work. This book represents a valuable contribution both to the sociological literature on professions and the business orientated literature on knowledge management and should promote further new research on professionalism.

    Preface; Introduction: Professional Work in the Portfolio Society; Part I Theory; Chapter 1 Professionals, Practitioners, Practices; Chapter 2 Knowledge Sharing as Identity Work and Professional Virtue; Part II Practices; Chapter 3 Life Science Work: The Sharing of Knowledge and Mutual Adjustment in Dynamic Environments; Chapter 4 Management Consultants: Knowledge Claims, Relational Identities and the Need for Knowledge Sharing in Consulting Work; Chapter 5 Architects: Visuality and Materiality in Design and Construction Work; Chapter 6 Knowledge Sharing as Professional Practice: Theoretical and Practical Implications;


    Alexander Styhre is Professor, Chair of Organization Theory and Management in the Department of Business Administration, School of Business, Economics, and Law, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Professor Styhre has published extensively in the field of organization theory, his most recent books are Visual Cultures in Organizations (Routledge, 2010) and Perception and Organization (Palgrave, 2009). Styhre has participated in research projects at major Swedish companies such as Ericsson, Skanska, PEAB, AstraZeneca, and Volvo Car Corporation.