Professional identity, a neglected core concept of professional development

Tom P.A. van Oeffelt, Manon C.P. Ruijters, Anouk A.J.C. van Hees, Robert Jan P. Simons

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

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The increasing complexity of work and strategic choices made in organisations affect the professional severely. He or she is challenged to be self-regulating, resilient, to excel and be a wise collaborator. We theorise that, when these challenges are at play, the professional identity is addressed. We see professional identity as a collection of characteristics that colour each learning professional in the way he or she works. Professional identity emerges in the interaction between individuals and their professions and contexts. To find more grounds for our way of theorising, an exploratory study in two stages was carried out. The objective was to find out if and how organisations address professional identity in their HRD activities. Stage one was an online survey, and stage two was a series of in-depth interviews with HRD-professionals. We found a confirmation of our way of theorising; little attention is paid to professional identity itself, although all respondents see the relevance. This leads to our statement that professional identity is a neglected core for professional development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIdentity as a Foundation for Human Resource Development
EditorsKate Black, Russell Warhurst, Sandra Corlett
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781315671482, 9780367874445
ISBN (Print)9781138945319
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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