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Insourcing the management of knowledge and occupational control: an analysis of computer engineers in Norway

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This article explores self management in professional work in the context of a shift from traditional professionalism to forms of governance where functions and responsibilities previously attributable to the professional communities are 'insourced' to the individual worker. Drawing on data from an interview study among recently educated computer engineers we examine how professionals within this field engage themselves in continuous learning and knowledge management by exercising what Foucault calls technologies of the self. Our data suggest that the computer engineers employ a range of techniques related to risk management, career monitoring, self motivation and knowledge control that enable them to cope with the multiple demands of the present. They also connect to new expert communities and engage in new forms of community alignments. However, the long-term effects of the current modes of regulation are more uncertain.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Oslo, Norway

Publication date: 2007-05-01

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