Please check out the following recent publication by OOW member Meghan Elizabeth Kallman (in the International Public Management Journal): “Encapsulation, Professionalization and Managerialism in the Peace Corps.”
Much recent work has explored the implications of the pervasive professionalization that has occurred in recent decades across occupations and throughout organizational life. Using the case of the US Peace Corps, the current article expands this conversation into the institutionally complex world of international development organizations. Drawing on interview, documentary, and observational data, its goal is to offer a contextual analysis of how professionalism is understood and practiced within international development. I show how the application of managerialist models have led to an “encapsulation” of ideas of professionalization, and demonstrate how managerial encapsulation unfolds in practice. This analysis allows me to consider how encapsulation challenges and strains professional norms among Peace Corps staff. The article concludes with theoretical and practical implications.