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Enhancing liminality through formal training: creating alterities through rites of passage
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2014 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Liminality is gaining a greater importance in contemporary organizations. Workers’ organizational membership is often ambiguous and their assignments are often temporary and boundary-crossing. The aim of this study is to investigate how an introductory development program (IDP) for newlyhired consultants addresses the liminal positions of mobile project workers, and whether IDP can aid the participants in dealing with positions of liminality at work. The findings suggest that, unlike “traditional” organizational introduction programs, the studied IDP does not emphasize socialization of the participants into such that they identify with the company; instead, their alterity is emphasized – thereby enhancing the workers’ liminal position. Moreover, the study shows how distancing techniques used to reflect on liminality at work can broaden the liminars’ scope of action.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Liminality, development program, rite of passage, consultants, project work, alterity
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-105479OAI: diva2:707619
IRNOP XI. The Project Research Conference, June 16-18, Oslo, Norway
Available from: 2014-03-25 Created: 2014-03-25 Last updated: 2014-03-25Bibliographically approved
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

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