The Emergence of Transformative Agency in Professional Work

Tiina M. Tuominen, Mikko H. Letonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Even though transformative agency is widely discussed in organization studies, recent conceptualizations provide little information about the dynamics through which transformative agency emerges at the individual and collective levels, or how these levels influence one another in a particular context. We employ critical realist theories to explore transformative agency in different types of temporary service development groups in professional service organizations. Our study suggests how individuals’ transformative agency emerges from their reflexivity and bargaining power conditioned by resource distributions, and how collective agency subsequently emerges from different combinations of these individual properties in temporary agentic groups. The study clarifies the interplay between the individual and collective levels of agency, and supports further multilevel studies on transformative agency in organizational change.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalOrganization Studies
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1601-1624
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 03.09.2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • collective agency
  • diachronic emergence
  • morphogenesis
  • professional service firm
  • reflexivity
  • synchronic emergence
  • transformative agency


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