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Entrepreneurs and professionals: The mediating role of institutions

Institutions and Entrepreneurship

ISBN: 978-0-85724-239-6, eISBN: 978-0-85724-240-2

Publication date: 8 November 2010


Social science attention to the distinctive role played by the professions in modern society dates, at least, from the 1930s, beginning with the pioneering research of Carr-Saunders and Wilson (1933) and the theorizing of Parsons (1939). A considerable body of work was produced well into the 1960s, most of which embraced what was subsequently termed a functionalist approach. It was argued that in return for employing their specialized knowledge in the client's interest, professionals were ceded the right to set standards of training and practice and to exercise autonomy of decision making in their spheres of competence (e.g., Goode, 1957; Goss, 1961; Greenwood, 1957; Hughes, 1958b). Considerable effort was expended in differentiating between more- and less-fully developed types of professions (e.g., Etzioni, 1969; Scott, 1965), as well as identifying the stages and strategies by which professions acquired their distinctive features and status (e.g., Abbott, 1988; Freidson, 1986; Wilensky, 1964).


Scott, W.R. (2010), "Entrepreneurs and professionals: The mediating role of institutions", Sine, W.D. and David, R.J. (Ed.) Institutions and Entrepreneurship (Research in the Sociology of Work, Vol. 21), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 27-49.



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