Take my word for it: How professional vocabularies foster organizing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Professional vocabularies are sources of categories that non-professionals borrow and use. Accordingly, professions play a key role in divisions of linguistic labor, generating and distributing, but maintaining control over, words that other use to guide their thinking and behavior. Collectively, organizations and fields coordinate in part through integrating words borrowed from multiple professional vocabularies, simultaneously broadening common ground across their members and assigning jurisdictions to specialized members. Thus, professional vocabularies are not only barriers but also largely unnoticed facilitators of organizing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberjot004
Pages (from-to)65-83
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Professions and Organization
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


  • borrowing
  • categories
  • division of linguistic labor
  • jurisdictions
  • organizing
  • professions
  • vocabularies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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