Beyond a common title: The formation of a professional identity among energy advisers
2012 (English)In: Journal of Human Resource Costing and Accounting, ISSN 1401-338X, Vol. 16, no 3, 210-234 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore if and how a professional identity can be formed in the wake of the foundation of a new public service. In the article, we focus on how different forces, regulative and emergent, interact and contribute to a development of a coherent understanding of a professional identity in a decentralised service. The case of local authority energy and climate consultancy is an illustrative example of a nascent service occupation in Sweden where the individuals holding the job title are geographically dispersed.
Design/methodology/approach: This paper has a qualitative approach and relies on three different data sources: participatory observations, written documents, and in-depth interviews with energy and climate advisers working in a particular region in Sweden. The study covers the years 2005 to 2010.
Findings: Our findings suggest that identity formation among geographically dispersed individuals in a nascent service occupation is possible. The development of collective understanding of the professional identity is influenced both by regulative and emergent forces, which interact.
Research limitations/implications: This paper is limited to one particular service occupation in Sweden from which generalisations are limited.
Practical implications: The findings may serve as useful input for management in order to understand facilitation of identity building among professionals in decentralised functions.
Originality/value: The value of this study lies in the comprehensive approach to how different pertinent forces interact with each other in order for a cohesive understanding of a work-related identity to develop in newly established service occupations.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2012. Vol. 16, no 3, 210-234 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-82105OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-82105DiVA: diva2:557822