Archives mensuelles : octobre 2021

Krise der Sozialforschung und pragmatische Normativität. Konventionentheoretische Perspektiven für eine Soziologie der Sozialforschung

Crisis of Social Research and Pragmatic Normativity. Convention theory-based perspectives for a sociology of social research

Rainer Diaz-Bone (2021)

Contribution to the Ad Hoc Group “Sozialforschung in der Kritik und in der Krise – Soziologische Perspektiven auf und für Methodologien im Wandel”

In: Blättel-Mink, Birgit (ed.), Gesellschaft unter Spannung. Verhandlungen des 40. Kongresses der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie 2020. Essen: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie, pp. 1-9. Open access.

Abstract. Der Beitrag skizziert zunächst gesellschaftliche Kritiken an der Sozialforschung sowie Veränderungen der gesellschaftlichen Positionierung der Sozialforschung. Seit Jahren ist eine aufkommende paradoxe Situation zu beobachten, die darin besteht, dass einerseits eine wachsende Nachfrage nach sozialwissenschaftlichen Daten und empirischen Analysen zu beobachten ist, dass andererseits zugleich auch eine wachsende Kritik an solchen Daten und empirischen Analysen aufkommt. In der Öffentlichkeit verschlechtert sich für Umfragen das „Survey-Klima“. Mit der Etablierung der Internet-basierten Big Data-Technologien entsteht zudem ein im wesentlichen unternehmensbasierter Bereich der Sozialforschung, in dem massenhaft generierte Daten, deren Auswertung und die darauf beruhenden Strategien der kommerziellen Gesellschaftsanalyse und Verhaltensbeeinflussung für die Öffentlichkeit und akademische Sozialforschung unsichtbar sind. Es steigt auch daher das Bewusstsein für damit verbundene Probleme des Datenschutzes und die Sorge über die gesellschaftlichen Auswirkungen von kommerziellen Big Data-Technologien. Zudem entstehen weitere “Datenwelten” wie die zivilbürgerliche Datenwelt und auch die amtliche Statistik positioniert sich als Datenwelt neu.
Was sind also Perspektiven für die Sozialforschung im Umgang mit der Kritik und der Konkurrenz durch andere Datenwelten? In dem Beitrag wird auf der Grundlage der Soziologie der Konventionen versucht, die Ausrichtung der Sozialforschung und weiterer Datenwelten auf plurale Formen des Gemeinwohls als Ansatzpunkt zu wählen. Die Soziologie der Konventionen betrachtet Sozialforschung – wie jede Form der Koordination – als auf Logiken fundiert, die zugleich eine pragmatische Normativität darstellen. In dem Beitrag wird daher das Konzept der Datenwelten eingeführt, um systematisch die Kritik und Spannungen zwischen den vier Datenwelten der Sozialforschung, der Big Data Welt, der zivilbürgerlichen Datenwelt und der amtlichen Statistik zu analysieren.

Abstract. The article first outlines societal critiques of social research as well as changes in the social positioning of social research. For years, an emerging paradoxical situation has been observed, which consists in the fact that, on the one hand, there is a growing demand for social science data and empirical analyses, and that, on the other hand, there is at the same time a growing criticism of such data and empirical analyses. The “survey climate” is deteriorating for surveys in the general public. Moreover, with the establishment of Internet-based Big Data technologies, an essentially company-based field of social research is emerging in which mass-generated data, their evaluation and the strategies of commercial social analysis and behavioral influence based on them are invisible to the public and academic social research. As a result, there is a growing awareness of the associated problems of data protection and concern about the social impact of commercial Big Data technologies. In addition, other “data worlds” are emerging, such as the civic data world, and official statistics is also repositioning itself as a data world.
So what are perspectives for social research in dealing with the critique and competition from other data worlds? Drawing on the sociology of conventions, this paper attempts to take as a starting point the orientation of social research and other data worlds towards plural forms of the common good. The sociology of conventions views social research – like any form of coordination – as grounded in logics that are also pragmatic normativities. The paper therefore introduces the concept of data worlds to systematically analyze the critiques and tensions between the four data worlds of social research, the Big Data world, the civic data world, and official statistics.

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Évaluer l’économie sociale et solidaire. Socioéconomie des conventions d’évaluation de l’ESS et du marché de l’évaluation de l’impact social

Evaluating the social and solidarity economy. Socioeconomics of SSE evaluation conventions and the social impact assessment market

Marion Studer (2021)
https://tel.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-03526491/

Soutenance de thèse le 11 Octobre 2021 à 14:00
Université de Lille, SH2, Salle des conférences.

Jury :

  • Francesca Petrella, Professeure des Universités, Aix-Marseille Université, rapportrice
  • Michel Renault, Maître de conférences, Université de Rennes 1, rapporteur
  • Corine Eyraud, Maîtresse de conférences, Aix-Marseille Université
  • Nathalie Raulet-Croset, Professeure des Universités, IAE de Paris, Université de Paris 1
  • Richard Sobel, Professeur des Universités, Université de Lille
  • Florence Jany-Catrice, Professeure des Universités, Université de Lille

Résumé. L’évaluation de l’impact social s’impose dans l’économie sociale et solidaire (ESS) depuis le début des années 2010. Dans ce contexte se multiplient les publications et initiatives ayant pour objet de fournir des guides et méthodes « clé en main » d’évaluation de l’impact social. Dans ces guides, la technicité des méthodes d’évaluation écarte les débats sur l’origine de la notion et sur le contexte sociopolitique expliquant la place prééminente qu’elle prend depuis les années 2010. L’évaluation d’impact social y devient une pratique réifiée sans laquelle une organisation ne peut se reconnaître d’utilité sociale et plus largement ne peut se proclamer de l’ESS. La présente thèse opère un pas de côté en posant le principe selon lequel l’évaluation d’impact social ne va pas de soi et s’inscrit dans un contexte sociopolitique et un ensemble d’institutions et de représentations de l’évaluation. Plus précisément, cette thèse s’affilie au cadre de l’économie des conventions. À partir d’une approche abductive combinant une revue de la littérature pluridisciplinaire et la réalisation de deux études de cas, l’une auprès d’acteurs a priori externes à l’ESS (cabinets de conseil à l’évaluation, centres de recherche  d’école  de  commerce,  agences  d’ingénierie) et l’autre au sein d’un projet  regroupant des  têtes  de  réseaux  et  fédérations  représentatives  de  l’ESS, cette thèse identifie deux conventions d’évaluation idéales typiques. Nommées « convention managériale » et « convention délibérative », ces conventions trouvent leur origine dans les transformations socioéconomiques à l’œuvre dans l’ESS depuis les années 1980. Leurs différentes articulations donnent naissance à une multitude de montages composites. Ces montages correspondent à autant de déclinaisons possibles de l’évaluation au sein du marché de l’évaluation d’impact social. Porté par un écosystème d’acteurs externes et représentatifs de l’ESS, la thèse identifie au sein de ce marché un ensemble d’institutions, de réseaux sociaux, de dispositifs matériels ou encore de significations culturelles permettant aussi bien de diffuser les offres et demandes d’évaluation, de favoriser le développement de partenariats au sein du marché, d’authentifier et de qualifier les prestations d’évaluation, que de participer à la création d’une culture de l’évaluation. En cela, la thèse donne à voir différents équipements qui appuient la structuration du marché tout en catalysant son expansion au sein de l’ESS.”

Abstract. Social impact assessment has been a key issue in the social and solidarity economy (SSE) since the early 2010s. In this context, publications and initiatives aimed at providing “turnkey” guides and methods for social impact assessment are multiplying. In these guides, the technical nature of the evaluation methods sidelines the debates on the origin of the concept and on the socio-political context, which explains the prominent place it has taken since the 2010s. Social impact assessment has become a reified practice without which an organization cannot recognize its social utility and, more broadly, cannot claim to be part of the SSE. This thesis takes a step aside by positing that social impact assessment is not self-evident and is embedded in a socio-political context and a set of institutions and representations of assessment. More specifically, this thesis is affiliated with the economics of conventions framework. Based on an abductive approach combining a review of the multidisciplinary literature and the realization of two case studies, one with actors a priori external to the SSE (evaluation consulting firms, business school research centers, engineering agencies) and the other within a project bringing together network heads and federations representing the SSE, this thesis identifies two typical ideal evaluation conventions. Named “managerial convention” and “deliberative convention”, these conventions originate in the socio-economic transformations at work in the SSE since the 1980s. Their different articulations give rise to a multitude of composite arrangements. These arrangements correspond to as many possible variations of evaluation within the social impact evaluation market. Supported by an ecosystem of external actors representative of the SSE, the thesis identifies within this market a set of institutions, social networks, material devices and cultural meanings that make it possible to disseminate evaluation offers and requests, to promote the development of partnerships within the market, to authenticate and qualify evaluation services, and to participate in the creation of an evaluation culture. In this respect, the thesis shows different facilities that support the structuring of the market while catalyzing its expansion within the SSE.

https://clerse.univ-lille.fr/detail-event/soutenance-de-these-de-marion-studer/

The effect of institutional pressures on business-led interventions to improve social compliance among emerging market suppliers in global value chains

Anthony Goerzen, Peter Simon Iskander & Joerg Hofstetter (2021)

Journal of International Business Policy, 4, pp. 347–367

Abstract. Emerging market governments are incented to attract global value chain (GVC) activities to fuel economic growth. At the same time, in light of real and perceived workplace-related injustices within emerging markets, GVC lead firms are under pressure to improve social standard compliance within their upstream supply chain. Among the most common approaches to achieve these outcomes is to impose standards of conduct that are vetted by on-site audits. Research has shown, however, that improvement in GVC performance using this approach has been slow and sometimes leads to negative consequences, leading us to our research question: under what conditions do interventions by GVC lead firms yield significant improvements in social standards among upstream supplier workplaces? We hypothesize that a country’s institutions not only have direct effects on social upgrading but also indirectly affect the ability of third parties to bring about social compliance. Our findings, based on two longitudinal datasets, suggest that GVC lead firms must account for the unique country-level institutional pressures that either propel or hamper improvement over time in private social standard compliance among upstream suppliers. In addition, governments must develop new policy responses to target the prevailing institutional pressures that dampen social upgrading if they are to attract and retain GVC investment.”

Extract: “Using Convention Theory to Examine GVC Governance
We draw upon Convention Theory (CT) to explain both GVC lead firm and GVC supplier firm behavior in the context of a national institutional environment. CT defines a convention as a system of mutual expectations about the rules and standards that should be followed (Diaz-Bone, Didry, & Salais, 2015). These conventions can refer to product attributes (e.g., quality or type of ingredients) or they can denote attributes related to production and process methods (e.g., labor and environmental standards). If there is a common agreement between the GVC lead firm and its suppliers on a given convention – for example, a defined set of criteria related to responsible behavior that must be fulfilled by the supplier firms wishing to transact with the lead firm – and if there are monitoring mechanisms in place to verify adherence, conventions are more easily adopted and transmitted throughout the GVC lead firm’s upstream suppliers. However, if GVC lead firms and suppliers do not share a common view of a specific criterion, or if it is difficult to monitor and/or enforce, the uncertainty that emerges exacerbates the above-mentioned coordination problem (Ponte & Sturgeon, 2014).
A key point in CT is that quality conventions are not necessarily defined prior to collaboration, nor are they fixed in space and time or closed to challenge (Gibbon, Bair, & Ponte, 2008). Rather, they are the result of a dynamic process that emerges as GVC members and their stakeholders attempt to solve interest misalignment problems (Goerzen & Van Assche, 2019; Ponte & Gibbon, 2005). From this perspective, conventions can act not only as normative guides for action but also as collective systems that help legitimize those actions (Diaz-Bone et al., 2015). Conventions, thus, lead to a process of “normalizing” behaviors so that outcomes are compatible with expectations (Gibbon et al., 2008; Ponte & Gibbon, 2005; Thévenot, 2015).” (p. 349)

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