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Career Resourcing and the Process of Professional Emergence

Nigam, A. & Dokko, G. (2019). Career Resourcing and the Process of Professional Emergence. Academy of Management Journal, 62(4), pp. 1052-1084. doi: 10.5465/amj.2015.0038


We theorize a career resourcing process that explains how individuals can create a new profession. Using historical archives, we trace the emergence of health services research as a new research profession through the career actions of early practitioners. We find that career resourcing can lead to the institutionalization of a new profession by: 1) a process of accretion, where people pursuing fulfilling careers generate resources that contribute to institutionalization, or 2) institutional work to deliberately build the professional community and infrastructure. We contribute to research on institutional change by specifying career actions that can lead to the institutionalization of a new profession, and by developing theory that accounts for the motivations and the means of individuals to act in ways that result in the institutionalization of a new profession.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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