The nature and development of liminality competence: Narratives from mobile project workers
2014 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Other academic)
Purpose: This paper describes and analyzes the nature and development of liminality competence among mobile project workers. It draws on an interpretative approach documenting how mobile project workers develop their conceptions of work performed in liminal (in-between) positions. The overall aim is to extend the knowledge on how people in time-limited and ambiguous work positions develop competencies to address their specific work conditions.
Design: This research relies on two in-depth narratives of mobile project workers drawn from a larger longitudinal study. The data include diaries and interviews. The study seeks to identify similarities and differences in the development of liminality competence over time.
Findings: Three processes were identified as important in developing higher liminality competence: (1) understanding the value of in-betweenness, (2) understanding the role of the liminar as different and (3) translating liminal experience through reflexivity. The paper generally demonstrates the importance of context and critical events in progressing through these three processes.
Practical implications: The paper demonstrates the need for employers to support individuals in passing through the three identified processes and to support thoughtful mobility across different project settings.
Originality/value: In the dual ambition of offering insights based on interpretative research on competence and putting greater emphasis on people working in in-between positions, this study enhances the understanding of how individuals develop their conceptions of work in general and their conceptions of liminality at work in particular.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Liminality, liminality competence, competence development, consultant, engineer, project work
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-105478OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-105478DiVA: diva2:707617
EURAM 2012. 12th Conference on Social Innovation for Competitiveness Organisational Performance and Human Excellence, 6th-8th June, Rotterdam, The Netherlands