In Search of Hybrid Professionalism in Italy: A First Attempt

Sunday, 10 July 2016: 14:45
Location: Hörsaal III (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Maria Giovanna VICARELLI, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Italy
Elena SPINA, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Italy
The idea that a new professionalism is emerging is the basis for an international debate involving sociologists of professional groups and sociologists of organization. However, the breadth of the theoretical debate has not always resulted in empirical studies capable of measuring the existence and the degree of a hybrid professionalism alongside forms of traditional or organizational professionalism. With the aim to contribute to the construction of a tool for empirical verification, and starting from the “pillars” proposed by Julia Evetts in order to qualify occupational and organizational professionalism, we have tried to identify the pillars of hybrid professionalism by using existing literature. For each pillar we have then identified some items. The result is an instrument composed of 29 items and, on its basis, the degree of agreement and disagreement regarding the current representation of the medical profession in Italy was asked, using the Likert scale.

The questionnaire was submitted to 198 physicians, employed by the Italian NHS, working in Marche region. They are relatively homogeneous in terms of age (average age: 57) but heterogeneous in terms of their contractual level and organizational context: the group is composed of 144 hospital doctors, 19 physicians working in community services and 35 community paediatricians.

Three clusters appear to emerge from our statistical analysis: the most significant one combines characteristics of the hybrid model with some of the professional model and none of the organizational model; the second cluster presents many characteristics of the hybrid model, some of the traditional model and others of the organizational model. The third cluster  does not acknowledge any items of the three identified models. Our results seem to raise many questions both at a methodological (validation of the tool) and at a theoretical level (how consistent are the hybrid model and the organizational model in Italian contexts?)