Professional Boundaries in Transnational IT Workspaces

Esther Ruiz Ben


In this article, I analyse the formation of professional boundaries in the dynamic of globalisation and the internationalisation of work concentrating on the question of how professional boundaries emerge in transnational workspaces constituted by heterogeneous actors from different institutional and socio-cultural backgrounds. Theoretically, I depart from Abbott’s notion of ‘linked ecologies’ and focus on three dimensions of professionalism (the linkages between tasks and organised action or professional jurisdictions, the mechanisms for legitimating work or control over work and the search for professional identity) as basic mechanisms of professional boundaries formation in transnational workspaces. Retrospectively, I show focusing on the case of IT project management how employers and practitioners combining organisational and occupational professionalism contribute to form professional boundaries in workspaces that emerge in globalisation processes. Based on the research results and comparing them with the current situation of transnational IT project management, I conclude that the processes of formation of professional boundaries in the IT sector are historically situated in the first decade of the Twenty-first century.


professionalism; professional boundaries; transnationalisation; IT work

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