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March 12 , 2011

Knowledge Sharing in Professions

Roles and Identity in Expert Communities


No professional is an island. Despite their capacity to monopolize and erect entry barriers in terms of either formal credentials or membership of certain organizations, professionalism is inextricably bound up with collective accomplishments on a day-to-day basis and the capacity to share all the resources that constitute the professional domain of expertise.

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Knowledge Sharing in Professions looks at professionalism as a form of systematic and institutionalized knowledge sharing. It analyses professionalism through the everyday practices in professional communities and the organizations where they work. Three empirical studies, of pharmaceutical clinical trials researchers, management consultants, and architects, are presented, serving to illustrate the relational nature of these and other professions, and how members of professional communities are constantly exchanging data, information, and know-how in their everyday work. Alexander Styhre seeks to understand the role of professions and other forms of experts in contemporary society on the basis of complementary perspectives, that is to say, the communal and collegial nature of professional work.

This book represents a valuable contribution both to the sociological literature on professions and the business orientated literature on knowledge management and should promote further new research on professionalism.

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