Trustee professionalism transformed: Recruiting committed professionals
Journal article, Peer reviewed
MetadataShow full item record
- SPS - Documents 
Original versionAven, Andreassen. Trustee professionalism transformed: Recruiting committed professionals. Current Sociology. 2020 https://doi.org/10.1177/0011392120969759
This article explores how employing organizations articulate the competencies, values and personal qualities that they expect professionals to possess, and how they envision and appeal to certain professional identities when recruiting new employees. The article is prompted by the influential view put forth by sociologist Steven Brint, i.e. that professional work both consists of and is legitimized as specialized expertise. With the rise of large organizations, professionals no longer identify as the social trustees that the classical sociology of professions posited. If we accept Brint’s and others’ claims that management and organizations increasingly shape professionalism and professional work, it is crucial to understand what professionalism looks like from the employers’ points of view, and, more specifically, whether employers are interested in only expertise. This article explores these implications by analysing Norwegian job advertisements for engineers, trained social workers and registered nurses within both public and private employing organizations, i.e. professional spaces that Brint associates with expert professionalism and social trustee professionalism, respectively. The analysis reveals that public service and private commercial organizations alike appeal to social responsibility and personal commitment, which indicates the presence of persistent, albeit transformed, versions of trustee professionalism.