ORGANIZED PROFESSIONS AND
HUMAN SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS
A professional association is an association with one object above all others. … They [the members of the association] have joined in order better to perform their function. They meet: To establish standards; To maintain standards; To improve standards; To keep members up to standards; To educate the public to appreciate standards; To protect the public from those individuals who have not attained standards or willfully do not follow them; To protect individual members of the profession from each other.
—Mary Parker Follett, 1925 (Graham 1995:271)
Self-interest alone does not produce effective organizations even when it is balanced by self-restraint. … Organizations must also solve the control problem: how to get guidance and coherence in light of complex activities, diverse people and the need for speed and innovation. One solution is to encourage professionalism at every level by teaching common disciplines. Professionals … share a knowledge base, methodology, and standards of excellence that characterize a community of practitioners. … Professionals generally advance in their careers by adding knowledge, not by climbing a job ladder. Professional disciplines ensure control and coherence without elaborate hierarchies of supervision.
—Rosabeth Moss Kanter (1997:159)
THE RELATIONSHIPS between human service organizations of all types and specialized occupations take many diverse forms. Bureaucratic public administration settings have hierarchical structures in which primary service tasks are performed by individuals who are identified only as organizational employees. These employees are unlikely to be members of any specialized occupational association (although they may be members of a labor union or an internal association of organizational employees in which occupational