Pamela S. Tolbert

in The Oxford Handbook of Work and Organization

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780199299249
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C


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This part of the book examines contemporary economic and organizational changes, but from a somewhat different vantage point — that of occupations. Shared occupational identities provide a foundation for the recognition of common economic interests. Consequently, occupational membership can serve as an important basis for collective action that is aimed at defining both material and social relationships within organizations. Such action may be directly focused on employing organizations, targeted at enhancing occupational members' control of work and setting terms of exchange. Alternatively, collective action may focus on the broader political economy, seeking to secure the interests of occupational members by persuading the public that members have unique, specialized knowledge that is needed to carry out certain tasks. Such recognition provides the basis for the creation of licensing and other market closure arrangements that may broadly affect the economic situation of an occupational group.

Keywords: shared occupational identities; economic interests; occupational membership; social relationships; political economy

Article.  3678 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Business Ethics

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