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Caught in the act?: On co-construction of project work and professional identities in theatres
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.).
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5479-2563
2006 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Earlier studies point at that the notion of working in a project brings with it expectations on several aspects of the work situation, expectations that are institutionally given by project theory and practice and re-constructed by the project workers in interaction. At the same time, working by projects and re-constructing organisational and institutional norms on how projects should be, they also successively constructed an image of themselves in relation to these norms. This points at that not only are individuals reinforcing established notions on project work while working by projects – they also at the same time construct their own identities, reinforcing notions about themselves as professional, committed and structured enough to endure the hardships of project work. In other words, a project is here seen as a process of co-construction of the project form and of project worker professional identity. In this paper, we will thus analyse how people in project-based operations socially construct projects and individual identities – i.e. what happens when something is labelled a project and/or a project-based firm.

The analysis of the interviews from two theatres indicates that projects and project-based operations are co-constructed with individual identities in several ways simultaneously,  hrough discourses that may look internally consistent but not always easy to combine with each other. Even though most producers, directors and stage managers at the two theatres are most familiar with Gantt charts, project goal structures etc, they are not actively promoting Project Management as a distinct competence of neither themselves nor the organization. What they do promote is still a modernist notion of professionalism that is closely linked to the project form of work organization. What is co-constructed is a system of inter-subjectively held beliefs linking organizational poverty, legitimacy and success to individual identification with what are highstandard artistry, organizational loyalty and self-fulfilment. The single projects become arenas and critical incidents for such co-construction, for yet another confirmation of the current development or for experimenting with other forms for theatre production project work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oslo: BI Norwegian School of Management , 2006.
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-49113OAI: diva2:459258
European Academy of management annual conference. Oslo, Norway. May 17th - 20th 2006

QC 20111130

Available from: 2011-11-25 Created: 2011-11-25 Last updated: 2014-06-03Bibliographically approved

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