A fresh look at how professions take shape: Dual-directed networking dynamics and social boundaries

Kathleen Montgomery*, Amalya L. Oliver

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations

Abstract

Understanding boundary-spanning activities such as interorganizational alliances and professional/organizational integration requires clarity about what boundaries are being spanned and how they were constructed. We approach this goal by drawing on social identity theory and institutional theory to develop a process model, whereby inward- and outward-directed networking activities combine to build the social boundaries marking exclusive membership and proprietary domain. Four stages in the process are demonstrated, using two longitudinal case studies of emerging professions: the Jewish legal profession in Israel and physician executives in the USA. Despite the cases' contextual differences, analysis of networking activities supports propositions based on the model.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)661-687
Number of pages27
JournalOrganization Studies
Volume28
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2007

Keywords

  • Domain
  • Membership
  • Networking
  • Professions
  • Social boundaries

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