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Experts, outsiders or strangers? The self-positioning of highly skilled contractors


Bryant, M and McKeown, T, Experts, outsiders or strangers? The self-positioning of highly skilled contractors, Journal of Management & Organization, 22, (3) pp. 388-403. ISSN 1833-3672 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2015 Cambridge University Press and Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management

DOI: doi:10.1017/jmo.2015.41


Low and high-skilled contractors are often positioned in an analogous way within the literature drawing attention to the benefits of highly skilled contracting in contrast to the precarious nature of low-skilled contracting. Highly skilled contractors are largely identified within the free agent view; as self-directed professionals who add significant value to client organisations. However, very little research has focused specifically on how highly skilled contractors identify themselves through the process of positioning. We present the findings of a qualitative study of 34 highly skilled contractors. We found that participants positioned themselves in three specific ways: as expert, outsider and stranger and theorise about why highly skilled contractors construct simultaneous but diverse positions of themselves. In doing so, we argue that developing a more thorough understanding of how highly skilled contractors identify themselves provides valuable insights for those tasked with managing different groups of workers in the one workplace.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:highly skilled contractors, positioning, identity, qualitative research
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Strategy, management and organisational behaviour
Research Field:Organisational planning and management
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in commerce, management, tourism and services
UTAS Author:Bryant, M (Professor Melanie Bryant)
ID Code:114000
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:TSBE
Deposited On:2017-02-01
Last Modified:2017-10-23

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