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The Recognition of Expertise as a Centripetal Force: Membership Negotiation in Non-Profit Organizations


Using interview data collected at three non-profit organizations, this study investigates how employees share knowledge gained from former organizational roles in their current workplace and the implications of doing so for their organizational membership. This study examines the communicative practices that employees use to negotiate roles that incorporate their expertise into their work and recognition by others for doing so. Results reveal that the functional domain where individuals were positioned shaped the ways in which their knowledge and skills were communicated and recognized as expertise by others. These findings show that employees actively work to craft favorable positions in the workplace rather than merely adjusting to their formal job description. Moreover, this study contributes to organizational socialization research by highlighting employees' agency to take part in their own socialization and the impact of others' perceptions based on their functional role.

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