Remaking professionals? How associations and professional education connect professionalism and organizations
This article highlights connections between professional and organizational logics that might arise outside organizations, especially during professional education. Traditionally, many professionals were educated and prepared for rendering services and securing quality, irrespective of organizational surroundings. Contemporary service surroundings force professional associations to ‘remake’ rank and file professionals, so that professional behaviours become more ‘organizational’. Associations might change educational programmes, for instance, so that their members learn about organizational issues like efficiency, planning and leadership, working conditions, financing systems and risks. Whether and how this really happens, is unclear, however. This article analyses whether professional education connects professionals to organizational logics, and if so, how? Conceptually, various associational mechanisms for connecting professional and organizational logics are explored. Empirically, professional education is studied by focusing on the education of British and Dutch medical doctors. By analysing their education at three levels of analysis — educational guidelines, curricula and educational practices — the article studies whether and how doctors are tied to organizational issues. At each of these levels, it is concluded, changes occur, although most changes are mainly concerned with didactic and competency-based educational philosophies. To some extent, new connections between professionalism and organizations are established, but primarily at the level of general guidelines. Although medical education is reorganized, medical students are hardly equipped for organizational matters.