Work and Integrity: The Crisis and Promise of Professionalism in America / Edition 2

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Work and Integrity provocatively raises the question: What does it mean to be a professional today? In this book, William M. Sullivan speaks directly to today's professionals, probing the significance of their work in the changing world of business and other central occupational spheres. In ways that are often surprising and always challenging, Sullivan examines the widespread accusation that professional, middle-class Americans, "the bulk of the 20 percent of the workforce classified professional and managerial, seem to be losing concern about their fellow citizens even as they scramble to keep up wide occupational changes that offer them advantageous positions in the emerging global order." Work and Integrity locates this moral complaint within the larger compass of global trends that are forcing difficult choices on professionals. It describes how the professions have developed in America from genteel occupations into the most widely emulated and sought-after models of work. This development was made possible by the tempestuous rise of the complex institutions of modern society, and Sullivan explores the personal and social tensions of professional life within the worlds of business, government, health care, education, and the university. At the moment when these institutions are being forced to question accepted ways of doing things, Sullivan asks whether the professional's only responsibility is to manage a successful career and whether even that goal will prove reachable in the future without finding new connections among personal expertise, organizational culture, and civic responsibility.

The author of the bestselling Habits of the Heart examines the crisis in confidence in America's professional class. William M. Sullivan shows how the loss of faith in lawyers, clergy, doctors, and other professionals has affected society. He concludes by offering several recommendations for restoring confidence.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Sullivan examines the historical role of professionals in American society, pointing out that the professions have been affected and changed by new work patterns. He argues that, given increasing global interdependence coupled with emerging information technology, professionals in the public and private sector must re-examine their responsibility to larger society. Reinventing professionalism as a civic art is a central theme of the book. Thus, integrity in professional work includes the social dimensions of caring for people and purposes and making commitments to the social good. This is a well-documented scholarly treatise, more theoretical than applied. Highly recommended for academic libraries.-Jane M. Kathman, Coll. of St. Benedict Lib., St. Joseph, Minn.
David Rouse
Sullivan is a professor at LaSalle University and has previously coauthored thoughtful works such as "The Good Society" (1991), which analyzes our social institutions, and "Habits of the Heart" (1985), which considers individualism and commitment. Here he reflects on the role of professionals and the idea of professionalism in today's society. He traces the rise of professionalism and considers what it means to be a professional. He also muses over whether the decline in professional ethics and standards is the cause or the result of a general social malaise; consequently, Sullivan issues a call for those in the professions to return to the values that originally defined professionalism.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Importance of Being Professional
1 Professionalism: Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution? 1
2 The Evolution of the Professions: From Professions of Office to the Organizational Professions 29
3 A Metropolitan Maturity: The Progressives' Struggle for a Civic Professionalism 63
4 No Center to Hold: The Era of Expertise 97
5 Reinventing Professionalism 127
6 What Is Professional Knowledge? Expertise and Professional Education 159
7 Confronting Moral Ambiguity: The Struggle for Professional Ethics 191
8 Experts and Citizens: The Promise of Professional Life 219
Endnotes 239
Index 263
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2013

    nicely written

    nicely written

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