Theories of Professionalism and Theories of Entrepreneurship – Alignments and Differences in Contemporary Capitalism

Friday, 20 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Anne KOVALAINEN, University of Turku, Finland
Seppo POUTANEN, University of Turku, Finland
The rise of the global platform economy, and with it, the increasing number of professionals among the gig workers and the increasing number of precariety among highly skilled professionals and professions (Poutanen & Kovalainen 2017, 2016) all give rationale for the question of how adequately the current theories used are explaining the professionalism and its legitimacy and legitimation basis in contemporary societies. This paper addresses the question of theories used in analyzing professionalism and professions. This is done by scrutinizing the theoretization of professionalism vis á vis theoretization of entrepreneurial activities and entrepreneurship. Several new ways of organizing professions increasingly emerge through and with the help of digital platforms and global work platforms even for professionals. The liminal space of not being waged worker nor entrepreneur puts professions into new situation. On the other hand the ‘easiness’ of starting up a business and the ‘toughness’ of building up the reputation into trustworthy professional do raise new questions concerning the organization of professions. The argument developed in the paper is to relate, align and dissect the theories used for the analysis of professions and professionalism and the theories used for the analysis of entrepreneurship vis a vis another, in order to seek for new theoretization for the changing professions in the contemporary societies.