Archives de catégorie : Publications

As convenções das Políticas de Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação no Brasil: do Estado Empreendedor à crise do Estado Facilitador

Victor Luiz Alves Mourao (2017)

Sinais 21(1), pp. 132-154

Abstract. The article aims to conduct an analysis of Brazilian science, technology and innovation policies departing from the convention theory, a perspective that arises at the interface between sociology and economics through a focus on the situational contestation of the coordination of actions. The connection between these situations and the elaboration of policies and institutions is formulated as a problem, proceeding to the historical recapitulation of the historical process of building Brazilian scientific and technological institutions, with special attention to Science and technology public policies and conferences organized by the governments which focused to promote debate over the subject. In this way, it is possible to carry out an analysis that identifies the normative principles (cités) involved in the process of formulation, implementation and execution of the policies of science and technology, allowing to clarify continuities and discontinuities of Brazilian historical trajectory.

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Supporting alternative organizations? Exploring scholars’ involvement in the performativity of worker-recuperated enterprises

Susana C Esper, Laure Cabantous, Luciano Barin-Cruz & Jean-Pascal Gond (2017)

Organization 24(5), pp. 671-699

Abstract. This article analyses the role of academics in the production and maintenance of alternative organizations within the capitalist system. Empirically, we focus on academics from the University of Buenos Aires who, through the extension programme Facultad Abierta, have supported worker-recuperated enterprises since their emergence in Argentina in the early 2000s. Conceptually, we build on prior studies on worker-recuperated enterprises as well as the ‘critical performativity’ concept that we define as scholars’ subversive interventions that can involve the production of new subjectivities, the constitution of new organizational models and/or the bridging of these models to current social movements. Our results uncover the multiple roles of academics in relation to these three facets and highlight the key interactions of these roles. In so doing, our analysis advances prior studies of worker-recuperated enterprises by clarifying how academics can support alternative organizations while offering a renewed conceptualization of critical performativity as a multifaceted process through which academics and workers interact.

Link to the review

Some institutions (social norms and conventions) of contemporary mainstream economics, macroeconomics and financial economics

David Dequech (2017)

Cambridge Journal of Economics. Online first.

Abstract. This paper applies an institutional approach to contemporary mainstream economics. It identifies some mental and behavioral rules of mainstream economics as a whole and of the mainstream segment of two important subdisciplines, namely, macroeconomics and financial economics. There are social reasons behind the sharing of these rules. They are institutions. More specifically, academics who do not comply with these rules are subject to punishment, while conformists may be rewarded. At the same time, many supporters of mainstream economics have internalized these rules as legitimate, in part because of the prestige of their advocates. Social sanctions and internalization characterize social norms. These institutions are also conventions. Through various mechanisms, some academics follow these rules at least in part because others have done so; in addition, the prevailing rules are not necessarily superior to existing or conceivable alternatives. The combination of social norms and conventions may have negative consequences for the discipline.

Link to the review

Konventionen der Arbeitsintegration

Alan Canonica (2017)

Zeitschrift für Unternehmensgeschichte (Journal of Business History), 62(2), pp. 233–255.

English Abstract. Conventions of Occupational Integration. The Employment of Disabled People in Swiss Enterprises (1950 to 1980). Disabled people’s access to the labour market is one of the leading ideas in disability policy. Its success depends on the willingness of employers to employ handicapped people. Both historical and social studies focus on the welfare state or the people in question, while the perspective of the employers is often neglected. Under what conditions are companies willing to employ people whose performance diverges from the common interest to maximise economic output? Switzerland is well suited for a case study, since there are no regulations for employers, such as a quota-system. Incorporating the theory of «économie des conventions», this study investigates how employers’ associations and companies justify employment of disabled people and how these people are valued. The timeframe investigated spans from the immediate post-war period to 1980.

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The Limits of Ontological Critique: from Judgmental Rationality to Justification

Ismael Al-Amoudi & John Latsis (2017)

Cambridge Journal of Economics. 41(5), pp. 1303–1321.

Abstract. The Cambridge Social Ontology (CSO) programme’s inability to generate a meaningful dialogue with mainstream economics is difficult to understand by mere reference to judgmental rationality and without reference to CSO’s ideological configuration. Our paper uses an économie des conventions framework to draw systematic comparisons between CSO’s ideological configuration and the ideological configurations of mainstream economic theories and practice. The resulting analysis helps us to understand not only why CSO generated little response from the mainstream, but also how CSO might renew its critique in ways that might be more likely to produce a response.

Link to the pre-print version

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Notes de lecture des « Embarras des recruteurs »

Deux notes de lecture de l’ouvrage d’Emmanuelle Marchal : Les Embarras des recruteurs. Enquête sur le marché du travail (Éditions de l’EHESS, 2015)

François Sarfati, « Emmanuelle Marchal, Les Embarras des recruteurs. Enquête sur le marché du travail (Éditions de l’EHESS, 2015) », Sociologie [En ligne]

Sociologie du travail
Carole Tuchszirer, « Emmanuelle Marchal, Les embarras des recruteurs. Enquête sur le marché du travail », Sociologie du travail [En ligne], Vol. 59 – n° 1 | Janvier-Mars 2017

The (Valuation) Politics of Privatization

Debbie Becher  (2017)

Review Essay of « Barman, Emily (2016): Caring Capitalism: The Meaning and Measure of Social Value. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. » Contemporary Sociology 46(5), pp. 521-526 .

Barman’s new Caring Capitalism: The Meaning and Measure of Social Value illustrates how the pursuit of social good through business has become a more capacious activity than previously recognized, embedded in almost every arena of the modern corporate world. She demonstrates how the pursuit of social good has become integral, almost ingrained, across practically all industries and private organizations operating under capitalism today. She makes the point through the book’s three sections. The first covers the least surprising and earliest examples of this kind of activity: nonprofit organizations that self-consciously pursue do-good missions, as an alternative to or directly through market activity. The second part follows those who operate on the outside and attempt to force or nudge for-profit corporations to create social goods (or avoid social bads) by, for instance, labeling consumer goods as “fair trade” or “organic” or by crafting investment priorities around avoiding tobacco and guns. More broadly, these are cases of what is often called private regulation, including early initiatives to enforce “corporate social responsibility” and “socially responsible investing.” The final part of the book puts the most surprising developments on display: for-profit, multi-national corporations of all kinds that are taking on the charge. Here Barman highlights corporations that are being pressured to orient their activities toward the social good. This section includes the mainstreaming of investment evaluations by Bloomberg and colleagues that link social welfare to corporate profit. It also tracks the development of multi-national “inclusive businesses” whose core goals include poverty elimination and community development. Caring Capitalism does not examine what these corporations are actually doing to achieve social goods; instead, the book is focused on how they demonstrate such achievements across practically all corporate fields of activity.

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Indigenous worldviews and western conventions: Sumak Kawsay and Cocoa production in Ecuadorian Amazonia

Daniel  Coq-Huelva,  Bolier Torres-Navarrete & Carlos Bueno-Suárez (2017)

Agriculture and Human Values. Online first.

Abstract. This article explores the role of conventions in the normalization of cocoa production in Ecuadorian Amazonia. Convention theory provides key theoretical tools for understanding coordination among agents. However, conventions must be understood as cultural constructions with a strong Eurocentric background that must be substantially modified in originally non-European contexts. A creative application of convention theory can partially overcome bifurcation among Western and non-Western rationalities. First, it shows that Western values and forms of coordination are heterogeneous, conflictive and opposing. Second, it provides key insight for understanding the transformation of subaltern subjectivities generated from non-Western rationalities that are closely associated with subjugated knowledges. Third, in applying the concept of compromise, it allows one to understand cognitive hybridization and coordination among indigenous and Western agents and thus the complexities of processes of resistance, subversion and empowerment carried by indigenous communities. This article is focused on how cocoa production in Ecuadorian Amazonia serves as an example of the confluence and coordination of indigenous (using the concept of “Good Living” or Sumak Kawsay) and Western conventions. The assertion of Sumak Kawsay is understood as a relevant transformation of Ecuadorian post-colonial relations. It is shown that relevant industrial upgrading processes are justified by, among others, Sumak Kawsay repertoires. Additionally, dialogue on knowledge and compromise among conventions, and especially concerning Sumak Kawsay and the market, have been key facets shaping the development of a differentiated quality strand that has promoted relevant changes in the subaltern positioning of indigenous farmers in the cocoa commodity chain.

Link to the review


Notes de lecture du « Dictionnaire des conventions »

Deux notes de lecture du « Dictionnaire des conventions – Autour des travaux d’Olivier Favereau »

Revue de la régulation
Jonathan Marie, « Un ouvrage collectif convaincant en faveur du nécessaire pluralisme en économie politique », Revue de la régulation [En ligne], 21 | 1er semestre / Spring 2017

Liens socio
Olivier Cléach, « Philippe Batifoulier, Franck Bessis, Ariane Ghirardello, Guillemette de Larquier, Delphine Remillon (dir.), Dictionnaire des conventions. Autour des travaux d’Olivier Favereau. », Lectures [En ligne], Les comptes rendus, 2016.

The dynamics of sheep welfare in Norway – between idealised images and practical realities

Virginie Amilien & Unni Kjaernes (2017)

British Food Journal, 119(4), p. 952-966

Purpose: This paper is based on three social scientific studies of animal welfare and local food products in Norway, of which two focused on sheep in particular. It addresses the widespread belief that Norwegian sheep farming is “the best” but is confronted with a meat industry that emphasises economic efficiency. A few years after a new Norwegian law on animal welfare acknowledged animals as sentient beings came into force in 2010 (LOVdata, 2009), the purpose of this paper is to better understand ongoing debates on the welfare of sheep by exploring how sheep welfare is understood and regulated in Norway.

Design/methodology/approach: The theoretical framework draws on convention theory, especially referring to the four “possible worlds of production” (Salais/Storper 1993). The authors argue that animal welfare may be analysed in parallel to product quality, focusing on three major perspectives of sheep welfare: animal treatment, product quality, and an abstract conceptualisation in public discourse. The empirical analysis is based on interviews with key players in the sector and central documents.

Findings: Convention theory points to several general difficulties in reaching an agreement on what is “good quality” and welfare. First, the authors find difficulty in how to implement new regulatory conceptualisations with dominant ways of understanding welfare within the industry. Second, the idealised images of sheep welfare of an immaterial possible world dominating public discourse have very little interaction with the real world of farms and abattoirs.

Originality/value: This paper suggests that rather than addressing and handling the potential tension between the legal recognition of animal as sentient being and the economic demands of the industry, key actors keep the potentially conflicting understandings apart in different “worlds of production” (Salais/Storper 1993). Nevertheless, the authors observe that interactions between possible worlds, as well as translation from one possible world to another, not only could be promising but would be fundamental to concretise improvements in the real world.

Link to the review


Algorithmes de prix, intelligence artificielle et équilibres collusifs

Frédéric Marty (2017)

Sciences Po OFCE. Working Paper, n°14, 2017-05-01.

Résumé. Les algorithmes de prix mis en oeuvre par des firmes concurrentes peuvent constituer le support de collusions. Les ressources offertes par le Big Data, les possibilités d’ajustement des prix en temps réel et l’analyse prédictive peuvent permettre d’atteindre rapidement et de maintenir durablement des équilibres de collusion tacite. Le recours à l’intelligence artificielle pose un enjeu spécifique en ce sens que l’algorithme peut découvrir de lui-même l’intérêt d’un accord tacite de non-agression et que l’analyse de son processus décisionnel est particulièrement difficile. Ce faisant la sanction de l’entente sur la base du droit des pratiques anticoncurrentielles ne va pas de soi. L’article explore donc les voies de régulation possibles, que celles-ci passent par des audits ou par l’activation de règles de responsabilité.

Abstract. Algorithmic pricing may help competitors to collude. Big Data, real time pricing and predictive analysis may favour a quick reach to tacit collusion agreement and a durable equilibrium. Artificial Intelligence induces a specific issue as the algorithm may autonomously discover the possible gains associated to this kind of non-aggression equilibrium and as it is difficult to make its decisional process accountable. Hence sanctioning this on the ground of anticompetitive practices prohibition is not obvious. This paper explores the alternative ways of regulation as experimentations or implementation of liability rules.

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Routine and reflexivity: Simonian cognitivism vs practice approach

Rouslan Koumakhov & Adel Daoud (2017)

Industrial and Corporate Change, 26(4), p. 727–743

Abstract. The proponents of practice approaches to organizational routines claim that Herbert Simon’s conceptualization of routines overlooks issues of mindfulness, agency, and interpretation. We show that this criticism of Simon’s account of rule-based behavior in organizations is unsound. More importantly, Simon’s account overcomes some serious limitations of practice approaches with regard to understanding reflexivity, subjectivity, and improvisation. We reconstruct Simon’s view of organizational rules and cognition as part of his decision-making theory. In this view, rules are not rigid repetitive patterns of action, but mental structures allowing for various degrees of subjective interpretation, behavioral flexibility, and strategic action. We emphasize the central place that Simon assigns to the concept of a shared cognitive model governing representations of reality, and the importance of this concept in understanding the issue of rule-based behavior. Simon’s analysis is contemporary and powerful, insofar as it offers a valuable and comprehensive alternative to current understandings of routine and cognition in organizations.

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Social and solidarity finance: A conceptual approach

Amélie Artis (2017)

Research in International Business and Finance 39, pp. 737–749.

Abstract. An analysis of the social- and solidarity-finance system of relationships, which has characteristics that differ from those of other financial intermediaries, underpins the conceptual approach of this article. Social and solidarity finance constitutes a set of interdependent financial and social relationships, and partnerships between individuals and organisations,that mesh into an organised whole.This article makes use of  institutional economics to understand those mechanisms of interaction between individuals, organisations and institutions that are not strictly economic. First, we offer a new conceptual framework on social and solidarity finance from an institutional point of view. Then, based on this framework, we outline the sustainability of alternative finance and its ability to respond to specific entrepreneurship needs. Finally, we present the French situation regarding social and solidarity finance to highlight the main characteristics of alternative finance.

Link to the review

The Recursive Nature of Institutional Change. An Annales School Perspective

Marco Clemente, Rodolphe Durand & Thomas Roulet (2017)

Journal of Management Inquiry. Online first.

Abstract. In this essay, we propose a recursive model of institutional change building on the Annales School, one of the 20th century’s most influential streams of historical research. Our model builds upon three concepts from the Annales—mentalities, levels of time, and critical events—to explore how critical events affect different dimensions of institutional logics and exert short- or long-range influences. On these bases, organizations make choices, from decoupling to radical shifts in logics, leading to severe institutional changes that become the matter of history. As much as organizations are influenced by events and the prevalent institutional logics, their choices trigger macro-level changes in a recursive manner. More broadly, we comment on how fruitful is our approach to historicize organization studies.

Link to the review


Values, conventions, innovation and sociopolitical struggles in a local food system: Conflict between organic and conventional farmers in Sierra de Segura

Daniel Coq-Huelva, Javier Sanz-Cañada & Florencio Sánchez-Escobar (2017)

Journal of Rural Studies, 55, pp. 112–121

• Local Food Systems are not always homogeneous places in which agents have similar interests and values.
• Conflict is an essential feature of processes of social construction of quality inside Local Food Systems.
• Convention Theory offers a set of key concepts for approaching agents’ coordination and conflict inside Local Food Systems.
• Compromises are essential for understanding social construction and competition between organic and local olive oil farmers.
• Compromises are supported by strong discursive mobilisation, being clashes one of their major distinctive elements.

Link to the review