A History of Vocational Ethics and Professional Identity: How organization scholars navigate academic value spheres

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In recent years, Michael Burawoy has sparked a discussion about the role of social sciences in society. He calls for an increased interaction between different value spheres in social science, because ‘the flourishing of each depends on the flourishing of all.’ To ensure this interaction, he proposes that we pay better attention to the micro-politics of academic lives, not least their historical, geographical and biographical specificity. The current article contributes to this agenda, contextualized in the field of Organization Studies. It analyzes the vocational micro-politics of organization scholars, especially with a focus on historical and biographical specificity. Based on in-depth interviews with 15
senior scholars, many considered founding figures of Organization Studies, I analyze how they navigate value tensions in different historical periods. To understand historical differences, the article draws on a combination of Burawoy and Boltanski and Chiapello. To understand individual navigation of value spheres, I apply terms such as selective incorporation, decoupling, antagonism, and double attribution. In the end, I discuss how some scholars navigate spheres to ensure mutual correction while others navigate them to enable opportunism. The latter is a tempting strategy for young scholars trying to
survive extreme performance pressures today.
TidsskriftHuman Relations
Udgave nummer4
Antal sider27
StatusUdgivet - 2017

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