Three Lenses on Professions and Occupations in Organizations: Becoming, Doing, and Relating
Management and organizational scholarship is overdue for a reappraisal of occupations and professions as well as a critical review of past and current work on the topic. Indeed, the field has largely failed to keep pace with the rising salience of occupational and professional—as opposed to organizational—dynamics in work life. Moreover, not only is there a dearth of studies that explicitly take occupational or professional categories into account, but there is also an absence of a shared analytical framework for understanding what occupations and professions entail. Our goal is therefore two-fold: first, to offer guidance to scholars less familiar with this terrain who encounter occupational or professional dynamics in their own inquiries and, second, to introduce a three-part framework for conceptualizing occupations and professions to help guide future inquiries. We suggest that occupations and professions can be understood through lenses of “becoming,” “doing,” and “relating.” We develop this framework as we review past literature and discuss the implications of each approach for future research and, more broadly, for the field of management and organizational theory.
Personal Development and Career;
Anteby, Michel, Curtis K. Chan, and Julia DiBenigno. "Three Lenses on Professions and Occupations in Organizations: Becoming, Doing, and Relating." Academy of Management Annals
(forthcoming). View Details
Task Segregation as a Mechanism for Within-Job Inequality: Women and Men of the Transportation Security Administration
What could explain inequality within a given job between groups of workers, particularly between women and men? Extant workplace inequality scholarship has largely overlooked as a source for inequality the job’s work content—the actual tasks workers perform. It is possible, however, for a job to have considerably heterogeneous tasks and for particular tasks to be differentially allocated by worker group. We deem this possibility “task segregation”—when a group of workers is disproportionately allocated to spend more time doing particular tasks within a job. If these tasks are relatively undesirable, then the segregated group may have relatively poorer job quality. Drawing on interviews with airport security screeners, we analyze a case of task segregation and the processes through which it generated inequality in job quality. Relative to male screeners, female screeners were more often allocated the reportedly undesirable task of passenger pat-downs, disproportionately exposing them to processes of physical exertion, emotional labor, and relational strain. Task segregation also disproportionately exposed female screeners to processes of managerial sanction and skillset narrowing that further contributed to poor job quality for women. Overall, we build theory around how task segregation can act as a mechanism for generating within-job inequality in job quality.
mechanisms and processes;
qualitative methods (general);
Equality and Inequality;
Labor and Management Relations;
Air Transportation Industry;