Service professions beyond the myth of the craftman

Author/s Federico Butera
Publishing Year 2014 Issue 2013/2
Language Italian Pages 46 P. 91-136 File size 187 KB
DOI 10.3280/SO2013-002004
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Service professions as key factor to enable competitiveness and fight unemployment. The thesis of this paper is that there is an emerging new model of work that goes beyond previous models represented by artisan work, industrial and bureaucratic occupations and liberal professions. This new working model is made up of service professions in organizations that operate in large, medium and small companies, in organizational networks, in non-profit organizations, in professional firms, in public administration and other forms of organized labour. Services professions include both knowledge work in all its forms (theoretical knowledge, practical knowledge, etc.) and relationship work with internal and external customers. The growth of these professions is today the main weapon against unemployment because they are the key component of growth and competitiveness in services. Considering both total tertiary (research, health, education, telecommunications, security, banking and insurance, commerce, etc.) and tertiary to the production system (internal R&D, planning, organization, sales, management, etc.), they represent the vast majority of employment. The design of new organizational forms and new development systems around service professionals is essential to assure growth and competitiveness of the service industry. New organizational forms should be based on intrinsic cooperation, knowledge sharing, extensive communication, professional communities. New professional systems should be based on three pillars: results oriented and relationship building roles professional models that ensure identity and capacity building, and recognition of people potential and "workplace within". Service professions inherit and overcome the rationality of industrial occupations in the twentieth century that have enhanced labour productivity (adding autonomy and responsibility), the old and new craftsmanship that ensures quality and beauty (adding the ability to provide high-value services along with the entire organization), and the training, jurisdiction and responsibilities of liberal professions (adding cooperation within organizations). Unemployment can be reduced mainly by creating jobs that are components of the modes of production that are being developed: competition with low labour costs countries consists in adding value to manufacturing, integrating products and services and producing high-value services. This mission is entrusted to knowledge workers that operate in organizations in relation to final or internal customers, i.e. services professionals in organizations. They must be trained by the best schools and universities, governed by regulatory and tax systems that encourage their use, included in organizations that boost their productivity and creativity and in professional systems that recognize and develop their emerging paradigm. We must, in short, conceive and strengthen a "professional future".

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Federico Butera, Service professions. Le professioni dei servizi nelle organizzazioni come fattore chiave per la competitività e contro la disoccupazione in "STUDI ORGANIZZATIVI " 2/2013, pp 91-136, DOI: 10.3280/SO2013-002004