liu.seSearch for publications in DiVA
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Liminality competence: An interpretative study of mobile project workers’ conception of liminality at work
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
BI Norwegian Business School, Norway.
2015 (English)In: Management Learning, ISSN 1350-5076, E-ISSN 1461-7307, Vol. 46, no 3, 260-279 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study focuses on individuals working under transient and mobile conditions and the specific competences that they develop to deal with such work conditions. The article examines a specific type of knowledge worker, namely, the mobile project worker who is employed by a technical consultancy but who performs work on various client projects together with members from client organizations. The overall aim of this article is to improve our understanding of the differences among people’s abilities to handle fluid and flexible work conditions. We elaborate on the notion of “liminality” to denote a particular element of flexible work conditions, which consists of continuous movement among assignments and of simultaneous engagement with several organizations. Based on qualitative and interpretative research involving a combination of interviews, diaries, and workshops, this article identifies three levels of specific “liminality competence” that mobile project workers develop to deal with liminality at work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2015. Vol. 46, no 3, 260-279 p.
Keyword [en]
Liminality competence, flexible work, project work, technical consultants, narrative diaries
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-105477DOI: 10.1177/1350507613516247ISI: 000356423300002OAI: diva2:707616

Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsradet); Riksbankens Jubileumsfond; Handelsbankens forskningsstiftelser

Available from: 2014-03-25 Created: 2014-03-25 Last updated: 2015-07-06
In thesis
1. Liminality at Work: Mobile Project Workers In-Between
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Liminality at Work: Mobile Project Workers In-Between
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This doctoral thesis addresses how mobile project workers; technical consultants working in projects, experience and deal with project-based work. The thesis consists of a compilation of five papers and an extended summary. It is based on three qualitative studies including methods like interviews, diaries, and observations. The thesis adopts and develops the conceptual lens of liminality.

The results of this thesis show that mobile project workers use four different practices to deal with liminality at work. Furthermore, the thesis develops the framework of “liminality competence,” indicating that some mobile project workers are better at utilizing their liminal positions than others. The thesis also studies how liminality competence is developed and how formal training programs influence the liminal position for mobile project workers.

Abstract [sv]

I denna avhandling studeras hur mobila projektarbetare, i detta fall teknikkonsulter som utför arbete i kundprojekt, upplever och hanterar projektbaserat arbete. Avhandlingen presenterar tre kvalitativa studier som bygger på intervjuer, dagboksanteckningar och deltagande observationer. Avhandlingen består av fem artiklar och en kappa. För denna studie används begreppet liminalitet som fångar den mobilitet och organisatoriska tvetydighet som föreligger i mobila projektarbetares arbetssituation.

Avhandlingen utvecklar liminalitetsbegreppet ytterligare relaterat till liminella positioner i arbetslivet. Analysen identifierar fyra liminalitetspraktiker som mobila projektarbetare använder för att hantera sin arbetssituation. Dessutom utvecklas begreppet liminalitetskompetens. Detta begrepp används för att förstå hur mobila projektarbetare hanterar sin liminella arbetssituation och vilka skillnader som finns vad gäller förmågan att hantera liminalitet i arbetet. Avhandlingen undersöker också hur sådan kompetens utvecklas och hur formella lärandeprogram kan påverka liminalitetssituationen och liminalitetskompetensen hos mobila projektmedarbetare.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. 100 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 614
Mobile project workers, liminality, project-based work, contingent workers, liminality practices, liminality competence, Mobila projektarbetare, liminalitet, projektbaserat arbete, konsulter, liminalitetspraktiker, liminalitetskompetens
National Category
Business Administration
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-105481 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-105481 (DOI)978-91-7519-364-9 (print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-03-25, C3, Hus C, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2014-03-25 Created: 2014-03-25 Last updated: 2015-09-22Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Borg, Elisabeth
By organisation
Business AdministrationFaculty of Arts and Sciences
In the same journal
Management Learning
Business Administration

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 223 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link