Liminality Practices in Project-Based Work: A Study of Mobile Engineers
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Project-based work is, to an increasing extent, carried out in ‘knowledge collectivities’ – groups of diversely skilled individuals with limited common experience from previous collaborations. A special case of such work involves technical consultants who travel across project teams and client organizations, recurrently entering and leaving project teams. To advance our understanding of project-based work, this paper suggests that the work of these ‘mobile engineers’ could be viewed as a condition of liminality. Based on an in-depth study comprising 20 engineers and four managers employed at one of Sweden’s leading technical consultancies, we identify two different types of liminality: social liminality and technical liminality. In addition, we discern four situations with special reference to liminality and, based on a thematic content analysis, elicit four liminality practices that workers participating in our study rely upon to handle their liminal situation.
Project-based organization, collectivity, liminality, interviews, engineers
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-73973OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-73973DiVA: diva2:479557