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Professionalism and professional institutions in times of change

Hughes, W. ORCID: and Hughes, C. (2013) Professionalism and professional institutions in times of change. Building Research & Information, 41 (1). pp. 28-38. ISSN 0961-3218

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/09613218.2013.737096


Professionalism and professional institutions have developed and changed very gradually in recent decades, such that there are conflicting and competing definitions of what it means to be a professional. The direction of travel is examined through an institutional lens in terms of current trends and practices that have transformed professional life. At first sight, the evolution of professionalism appears to be developing into a new professionalism that requires less of professional institutions and more of the institutions of societal governance, such as contracts and statutes. These transformations are explored with reference to the need for a sustainable urban environment, showing that despite a reduced role of professional institutions, certain aspects of professionalism remain crucially important, especially in those jurisdictions where societal governance is not well developed. With the growing sophistication of legislation, insurance and commerce, the emphasis of what it means to be a professional is evolving. One key aspect of professionalism that is not usually listed in most texts is role definition and how this provides a sense of identity. Professionalism remains a relevant and important concept, but the exigencies of a sustainable urban environment transcend the objectives of the professions and demand a broader, collaborative and participative agenda.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > Real Estate and Planning
Science > School of the Built Environment > Organisation, People and Technology group
ID Code:30313
Uncontrolled Keywords:built environment, economic development, governance, institutional theory, professional institutions, professionalism
Publisher:Taylor & Francis


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