Status and professional association councils. Available in 4 volumes.

  • Colin Coulson-Thomas

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis examines the predictive value of a conceptual distinction between status-seeking associations and status-maintaining associations for enhancing understanding of ten selected professional associations and of the attitudes, values, behaviour and policies of their governing organs. Thirty four specific hypotheses have been tested by such research methods as questionnaires administered to individuals and associations, participant observation and an examination of association minutes and publications. Certain hypotheses have been found to be valid for particular matched pairs and/or groups of associations. The findings of the study suggest that the present conceptualisation of profession, the individual professional, professionalism, professionalisation, professional status and that relating to the role of the professions in society needs to be refined and modified in varying degrees in application to accounting associations, business graduate associations and management associations. The concept of the `ideal type' profession is shown to be of limited value in understanding certain aspects of the activities of business graduate and management associations. The findings of the study suggest that in future the professional associations examined may attach less importance to their qualifying role and lay more stress upon their representational role. The professional association faces a managerial challenge to adjust and adapt to a range of `external' pressures and `internal' demands from members and may increasingly need to be regarded as an organisation that possesses certain combinations or sets of characteristics rather than as a type of organisation that possesses a particular or relatively exclusive set. With a blurring of the distinction between the professional and state sector vocational education, and a growing customer/market orientation associated with the changing nature of work, membership of a professional association may, in future, come to be associated rather more with securing access to a relevant range of services and less with qualification for a particular career.
Date of AwardJan 1988
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJohn Child (Supervisor)


  • professional
  • occupational association categorisation
  • management

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