Professions historically have been practiced autonomously, but with the proliferation of professionalism as technology advances professional practice is being conducted more and more within the confines of "organizational necessities." There is an inherent conflict between professional autonomy and organizational constraints. This conflict has created a need for theoretical formulations that mediate this situational relationship. The theoretical formulations of Mead, Cooley, Linton, Thomas, Kinch, and Blumer are used to identify a system for taking account of the individual within the organization. Using the concepts of looking glass self, self-indications, role, status, definition of the situation, the social self, scripts, and actors, specific areas of concern for empirical research are identified. An interactionist perspective is used to demonstrate how the professional self-image is derived from specific others in each interactive situation, but at the same time the individual professional practitioner is an active, creative source of behavior. How the professional defines the situation and reconciles self-actions and organization expectations depends to a large extent on how the supervisory process is structured and acted out. Various theorists, their theoretical formulations and the possible research apDlications of each in relation to professional activity within organizations are identified.
Munson, Carlton E.
"Symbolic Interaction and Social Work Supervision,"
The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare: Vol. 6
, Article 4.
Available at: http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/jssw/vol6/iss1/4