Agency Work. How Policemen Develop Connective Repertoires Whilst Working.
Existing studies on the development of hybrid identities and connective repertoires focus on managerial subtypes (such as ‘strategists’) or hybridization within traditional professions (such as ‘healthcare’). This article examines hybrid and connective professionalism within the field of policing, as an exemplary street-level profession. Empirically, we use an intervention approach that includes a responsive evaluation method to dig into the way hybrid policemen find their way. We use the notion of ‘identity work’ (McGivern et al., 2015) to examine how hybrids deal with conflicting institutional logics and work to create a position for themselves. However, this concept falls short in describing how professionals build new repertoires that are aimed at tackling problems. In addition, we coin the term ‘agency work’ to describe the way in which present-day professionals can only work to create connective repertoires whilst working. We study how policemen work on new connections, and we study interventions for facilitating agency work. We draw conclusions for police practices, but also for research agendas.