Centre for Economic Transformation| CET

Team professionalisation in dynamic organisations

Professionals determine to a large degree the quality of the work they create within their organisations. They operate in a complex and dynamic environment that deals with increasingly complex issues. They don’t do this alone: the expertise and roles of professionals converge in teams, where collaborative efforts are made to find solutions to the issues at hand.

Professionals aim to deliver high quality work in complex organisations, where the need for manageability can clash with the desire for professional autonomy. Developments within organisations and in the labour market are contributing to changing perspectives on the future work of professionals.

Our research

In our applied research into, and in cooperation with, teams, our starting point is the conviction that professionals are a determining factor when it comes to the quality level of (complex) work.. Via our research, we aim to contribute to strengthening the agency of both individual professionals and professional teams in the public and private sectors in the Amsterdam metropolitan area.

The research group Team Professionalisation is a young and ambitious research group. We investigate the developments related to professionals and teams of professionals, with a focus on the changing labour market relationships both inside and outside of the organisation.

Research focus

This research group focuses on the dynamics between the agency experienced by teams and the culture and structure of organisations that operate in a complex, continuously changing environment. We view collective agency as the degree to which a team determines the objectives of their work themselves, as well as organising their own work and taking responsibility for its quality.

We also devote attention to the necessity for individual professionalisation in terms of how this affects the professionalisation of teams as a whole. Specific focus areas include:

1. Existing and new forms of professionalisation focused on teams and individuals.

2. Interventions focused on strengthening professional teams and individual professionals.

3. Team professionalisation support, which is provided by management, supporting services such as Human Resource Management and/or governance structures.

Our research is conducted in diverse sectors and organisations, both private and public. Professionalisation takes place in the field, therefore our methodological starting point is practice-based investigation. We focus not only on gaining insights regarding the functioning of professional teams, but also on creating practical tools that can be used in practice to strengthen the collective agency of teams.

Sharing expertise

The knowledge that we acquire via our research is shared in various ways.

Experimental learning labs

We support teams through the Experimental Learning Lab for Professional Teams (Proeftuinen Professionele Teams ) by strengthening their collaboration. For a period of one year, we work closely with teams to help them improve their team’s performance through various interventions.

The team is supervised by trainers and researchers from the research group Team Professionalisation. Additional expertise in the area of team development is provided if necessary. This type of applied research enables us gain and share new insights concerning the factors affecting the various ways that teams operate.

Readings, workshops and master classes

We are also available for readings, workshops and master classes on the subjects of team professionalisation, team development, leadership in teams and study success. For more information, please contact Daniël van Middelkoop , professor for this research group.