Core activity 5.2: Professions and professional values

For this activity I have looked at The third social revolution (Harold Perkin, 1996), Revenge of the Right Brain (Pink) andCo-opting the creative revolution (Twist, 2005)


The Third Social Revolution paints a picture of a modern world being run by a meritocracy of professionals such as the managers of large multinational cooperation’s.  It is worth pointing out that this was published in 1996 and the modern world it portrays is not so modern.  Although I found this paper interesting I did have difficulties following some of the links and assumptions it made.  It seemed to assume that professionals, managers and beurocrats should all be grouped together.  Even if you agree that the majority of managers and beurocrats could be described as professionals, I still find it misleading to suggest that there is a revolution led by professionals.  I did agree with the idea that “knowledge-based services” have “changed human life”.  I found the arguments interesting that although the metocracy of professionals is often based on thoses who have been through higher education, differences in cultures had led to different social classes receiving this education in different countries.

I thought about the suggestion that the decline of countries in the West is due to “the short sighted selfishness of their respective professional elites.”  This does appear to fit with the general consensus that the current economic crisis is down to the short sighted selfishness of those in the banking profession.

An alternative theory, which in some ways builds on from Prekin’s view of the Professional society, is the conceptual age as described by Pink.  In his article he described the previous age as the Information age in which parent told their children “Get good grades, go to college, and pursue a profession that offers a decent standard of living and perhaps a dollop of prestige”.  This information age based on education can be compared to Perkins Proffesional society.  Pink describes the conceptual age as a time when many ‘left brain’ professions based on logical, analytical and sequential skills, are being out sources to countries with a cheaper workforce, such as Radiologists in India reading the CAT scan of a patient in a US hospital.  Other left brain professions such as lawesrs are loosing out to online alternatives such as websites which can produce an uncontested divorce for a fraction of the cost of a divorce lawyer.


Pink suggests that those who succeed in this environment are those with creative ‘Right Brain’ Skills in areas such as spiritualty and culture.  Developments in web 2.0 technologies have also led to the suggestion of a creative revolution as technical skills are no longer required to communicate, collaborate and create on-line.  This can be seen in the examples of wikipedia


3 responses to “Core activity 5.2: Professions and professional values

  1. An interesting argument. I would appreciate if you shared the link to Pink’s article.

  2. kevhickeyuk

    Hi Sirin,

    Thanks for the comment, The link to the article is

  3. Hi Kevin,
    Thanks for the link to the article!

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