Discourses of Professional and Enterprising Agency: Overlaps and Conflicts
On the one hand, the ideals of enterprising agency sit well with conventional ideals of professional agency. Professional discourses, as well, highlight professional actors’ self-governance, reflexivity and ability to make things happen, among other enterprising attributes. In theory, professional actors should, therefore, find enterprising ideals ethically appealing. On the other hand, enterprising ideals also highlight flexibility, including actors’ ability to overcome societal and cultural structures and boundaries. Such boundaries can also include traditional divisions of labor and established fields of knowledge and expertise, conventionally conceived as pivotal to professional collectives.
This paper has two aims. First, it examines the general overlaps and conflicts in professional and enterprising discourses, along with their socio-political and organizational consequences. Second, it examines the overlaps and conflicts in professional and enterprising discourses, and their consequences, in a particular empirical case: in social care work organization in Finland.