Interrelation of emerging professionals and institutional processes in project based environments: An institutional work perspective.
Paper in proceedings, 2016
In this paper we study the interrelation between an emerging expert professional role and institutional processes in project-based environments. In order to gain insight in the agency of professional experts we apply the theoretical lens of institutional work. We focus in particularly on a project-based environment, in which often temporary systems are created to perform project tasks. The project-based environment integrates diverse and specialized intellectual resources and expertise and often has a fragmented and distributed nature. The lens of institutional work has hardly been applied in this particular context and can uncover tensions between various types of institutional work processes that are often found in project based settings. The Architecture Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry is an example of a project-based environment. Recently, new developments in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have become more apparent in order to deal with complex information. One type of ICT that gains increasing attention is Building Information Modeling (BIM), which provides a platform for sharing information and supporting communication between the different actors in the AEC industry. The introduction of new technologies in the industry causes changes within the understanding and practice of new emerging professional roles and requires updated professional role descriptions and responsibilities. We study the agency process of the emerging professional role of the building information modelling coordinator and link this to institutional work. Three key aspects are investigated 1) the BIM coordinator as change agent in an institutional change processes; 2) the institutional work performed by BIM coordinators as they maintain, create and/or disrupt project institutions, and 3) institutional change through the institutionalization of the BIM actor as a profession within the AEC industry.