Archives par étiquette : order of worth

On Objects and Material Devices in the Organisational Responses to Institutional Pluralism: Insights from Economies of Worth

Thibault Daudigeos & Bertrand Valiorgue (2018)

Management international, 1-8.

Abstract. This research note contributes to the conceptual development of neo-institutional theory by applying the work of scholars associated with the economies-of-worth research stream to enhance understanding of how objects and material devices contribute to stabilising coordination processes when multiple principles of action coexist within a single organisation. We demonstrate that, depending on the responses to different principles of action constructed by an organisation and its members, different objects and material devices are involved. Specifically, we use empirical examples to highlight three categories of objects and material devices: specific, composite and settlement objects.

Intégrer les objets et dispositifs matériels dans le traitement organisationnel du pluralisme institutionnel : l’apport des économies de la grandeur

Résumé. Cette note de recherche contribue au développement analytique de la théorie néo‑institutionnelle en mobilisant les économies de la grandeur pour comprendre comment les objets et dispositifs matériels participent aux processus de coordination lorsque plusieurs principes d’actions coexistent au sein d’une même organisation. Nous montrons qu’en fonction des réponses au pluralisme des principes d’actions construites par l’organisation et ses membres, différents objets et dispositifs matériels sont mobilisés. Précisément, nous mettons en valeur, au travers d’illustrations empiriques, trois catégories d’objets et dispositifs matériels : les objets spécifiques, composites et d’arrangement.

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Profit, reputation and ‘doing the right thing’: Convention theory and the problem of food waste in the UK retail sector

Joanne Swaffield, David Evans & Daniel Welch (2018)

Geoforum, 89, p. 43-51

Abstract. In 2014, Tesco – one of the world’s largest food retailers – revealed that it had generated almost 57,000 tonnes of food waste in its UK operations over the previous twelve-month period. This shocking statistic added to existing evidence of a significant environmental and social problem in the UK and across the world. This paper utilises convention theory to examine the role of major retailers in the context of this global problem and assesses their motivations for acting on food waste. Drawing on interviews with key stakeholders (including major retailers), the analysis investigates their main justifications for action on food waste. It finds that retailers mostly appealed to three conventions or ‘orders of worth’ (civic, market and opinion) and used these as a basis for their commitment to food waste reduction. We argue that the combination of these different justifications is feasible and necessary in the context of the retail sector but that they may also lead to some unintended consequences (in the retail sector and beyond). Crucially, we demonstrate how the dilution of civic justifications (by their financial and reputational counterparts) might produce negative outcomes and inaction as retailers attempt to adhere to the so-called ‘food waste hierarchy’. The paper highlights the continuing significance of convention theory as a framework for analysing possible responses to the social and environmental challenges confronting global agro-food systems.

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Justifying the standardization of sustainability impact

Allison Marie Loconto, (forthcoming)

To be published in: Constance, D., Konefal, J., and M. Hatanaka (eds) Contested Sustainabilities. New York: Routledge.

Abstract. Sustainability standards are increasingly being used to encourage, measure and prove the adoption of sustainable practices. Yet it is unclear what measures have been developed to ‘prove’ the ‘responsibility’ of standards development organizations in ‘impacting’ sustainable practices. By drawing upon the French school of pragmatic sociology, I argue that the ISEAL Impacts Code is a ‘good’ form of meta-governance that enables the use of sustainability standards to prove the responsibility of corporations to make sustainability impacts. However, the ‘goodness’ of this form appeals to multiple orders of worth, which illustrates that there are aspects of sustainability impact, particularly its forms, that remain contested.

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La gouvernance des organisations de l’Économie Sociale et Solidaire à l’épreuve dynamique de leurs « Grandeurs »

Julien BOUILLE & Simon CORNE (2017)

Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Volume 88, Issue 4, p. 567–588

Résumé. Cet article propose d’étudier, au plan théorique, les différentes logiques institutionnelles en concurrence dans les organisations de l’économie sociale et solidaire (OESS). Nous mobilisons dans cette perspective le modèle des Economies de la Grandeur de Boltanski et Thévenot (1987, 1991). Le caractère novateur de notre recherche réside moins dans l’identification des principales conventions qui modèlent la gouvernance des OESS que dans l’examen des conflits et des compromis possibles entre chacune de ces « cités ». Notre analyse souligne tout d’abord que la « compétition » de plusieurs conventions au sein des OESS génère des tensions organisationnelles difficiles à résoudre. Nous montrons ensuite que l’atteinte d’un compromis, en plus d’être éphémère, comporte un risque d’exclusion d’une « cité » qui peut conduire à une fragilisation de la gouvernance des OESS. Au final, nous traçons des perspectives de dépassement de ce risque en exposant différentes stratégies organisationnelles susceptibles de cadrer la gouvernance des OESS sans en altérer leurs identités, ni leurs « grandeurs » multiples.

Abstract. This article resorts to Boltanski and Thevenot’s Economies of Worth model (1987, 1991) to examine from a theoretical stance the various institutional logics competing in social and solidarity-based economy organizations (SSEOs). The originality of our approach does not lie so much in the identification of the main conventions shaping the governance of SSEOs, but rather in the analysis of the conflicts and achievable compromises among each of these polities. Our contribution is threefold. We first show that the competition among several conventions generates organizational conflicts that are difficult to solve. We then reveal that achieving an (ephemeral) compromise entails a risk of excluding a ‘polity’, which may in turn weaken the governance of SSEOs. We finally sketch out some perspectives allowing to mitigate this risk. In particular, we outline organizational strategies likely to frame the governance of SSEOs without impairing their identities and plural forms of ‘worth’.

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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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Meetings between frames: Negotiating worth between journalism and management

Elena Raviola (2017)

In: Journal of Management. In press/online first.

This paper explores meetings between different frames, thus producing different overflows in an organizational context. Relying on Boltanski and Thévenot’s (2006) sociology of critique (also called the sociology of conventions) to analyze the relationship between different frames, this paper specifically investigates the encounter between journalism and management in practice in a digital news venture. It is based on an ethnographic study of Rue89, a French news organization, which was started in 2007 by former newspaper journalists and publishes an advertising-based generalist news website open for readers’ participation in the production of news. The study shows how negotiations between different frames organizing work at Rue89 take place in different ways in different situations and lead to different results, in terms of what is worth doing and what is not, thus overflowing.

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For What It’s Worth

David Stark  (2017)

In Charlotte Cloutier , Jean-Pascal Gond , Bernard Leca (ed.) Justification, Evaluation and Critique in the Study of Organizations (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Volume 52) Emerald Publishing Limited, pp.383 – 397

Abstract. This article takes its point of departure from the intellectual milieu in the mid-1980s that gave rise to Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot’s book, On Justification: Economies of Worth. It shows how exposure to ideas and concepts in that book came to take varied forms as they were elaborated and modified in the work of an American sociologist across several decades of research in diverse empirical settings.


Capital and Carbon: The Shifting Common Good Justification of Energy Regimes

Thomas D. Beamish & Nicole Woolsey Biggart (2017)

In Charlotte Cloutier, Jean-Pascal Gond & Bernard Leca (ed.), Justification, Evaluation and Critique in the Study of Organizations (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Volume 52) Emerald Publishing Limited, pp.173 – 205.

Abstract. This article traces the regimes of worth that defined energy for centuries as a productive force of human and animal labor, an understanding that transformed in the 18th century to an “industrial-energy” regime of worth supporting an economy of mass production, consumption, and profit and more recently one centered on market forces and price. Industrial and market energy and the conventions and institutions that support them are currently in a period of discursive and material ferment; they are being challenged by different higher order principles of worth. We discuss eight emergent energy justifications that argue what kind of energy is – and is not – in the best interests of society.


Meat your enemy. Animal rights, alignment, and radical change

Glen Whelan & Jean-Pascal Gond (2017)

Journal of Management Inquiry, 26(2), pp. 123–138.

Abstract. Radical change can be conceived in terms of the reconceiving of ontological distinctions, such as those separating humans from animals. In building on insights from French pragmatism, we suggest that, while no doubt very difficult, radical change can potentially be achieved by creating “alignment” between multiple “economies of worth” or “common worlds” (e.g., the market world of money, the industrial world of efficiency). Using recent campaigns by animal rights organizations as our case, we show how the design of “tests” (e.g., tests of profitability, tests of efficiency) can help align multiple common worlds in support for radical change. Our analysis contributes to the broader management and organization studies literatures by conceiving radical change in terms of changing ontological categorizations (e.g., human/animals vs. sentient/ non-sentient), and by proposing that radical social change agents can be helpfully conceived as opportunistically using events to cumulatively justify the change they desire overtime.

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Marketing and compromising for sustainability. Competing orders of worth in the North Atlantic

John H. Finch, Susi Geiger & Rachel Joy Harkness (2017)

Marketing Theory, 17(1), pp. 71-93.

Abstract. The purpose of our article is to propose that compromising is a constitutive characteristic of those marketing systems that entail matters of public interest or concern. In such markets, actors design compromises as they encounter criticisms of and contending justifications for the market’s products, as these refer to price, efficiency in production and use, regulatory compliance or ecological sustainability. Tests and justifications are vital in order to determine what is valuable and by which measure. As a theory framework, the economic sociology of conventions provides a basis for assessing these contests, compromises, and justifications over the issue of worth in a marketing context. Through an ethnographic study of the regulated activities of chemicals service companies supporting the upstream petroleum industry, we assess how actors evaluate and justify the market’s products and services in this environmentally sensitive setting by means of tests drawing from different orders of worth: the green, the industrial and the market order. Our contributions show that by artful and pragmatic compromising around exchanges, actors in marketing systems can balance several conflicting orders of worth over the question of worth without needing to converge on an overriding institutional logic.

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Headquarters-Subsidiary Relationships from a Convention Theory Perspective: Plural Orders of Worth, Arrangements and Form-Giving Activities

Julia Bandl and Anna Schneider (2017)

In: Dörrenbächer, Christoph/Geppert, Mike (eds.): Multinational Corporations and Organization Theory: Post Millennium Perspectives (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Volume 49). Emerald Publishing, pp. 295-324.

Abstract. How headquarter (HQ) and subsidiary actors end conflicts and reach agreements is an important but still under-researched question in multinational corporations (MNC) literature. This conceptual article approaches these conflict dynamics from the Convention Theory perspective. Convention Theory draws attention to justice principles (known as “order of worth”) and to the material aspects in relations between MNC actors. We offer a framework that contributes to HQ-subsidiary relations research in three ways: (1) it links conflicts to justice principles, (2) it enriches the understanding of the stability of agreements, and (3) it sheds light on the activities needed for realizing preferred arrangements.


Long-Term Goals and Shifting Power Structures: A Convention-Based View

Francois Duhamel, Sergio Picazo-Vela, Isis Gutiérrez-Martínez, Luis F. Luna-Reyes (2016)

In: Holly Jarman, Luis F. Luna-Reyes (eds.), Private Data and Public Value Governance, Green Consumption, and Sustainable Supply Chains. Heidelberg: Springer, pp. 129-146

Abstract. Sharing information in supply chains may prompt conflicts of interest among stakeholders, presenting a challenge for achieving the long-term goals associated with platforms such as I-Choose. In this chapter, we analyze such potential conflicts and possible ways to overcome them, on the basis of convention theory and as a result of case studies. Through semistructured interviews with stakeholders of the coffee supply chain in the NAFTA region, we found the presence of four worlds, or “orders of worth”: the domestic, civic, market, and industrial worlds, according to the terminology of convention theory. Our empirical work shows that in practice, supply chain participants can be characterized by a combination of at least two of such views. We also specify the conditions that make different supply chain configurations and set of values more or less amenable to the changes implied in the disclosure of private information that the I-Choose platform requires. In the conclusion of this chapter, we draw policy implications to design the right incentives to the private sector to enhance public value.

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Convention theory in the Anglophone agro-food literature: Past, present and future

Stefano Ponte (2016)

Journal of Rural Studies, 44, pp. 12-23.

Abstract. In the past two decades, convention theory has been applied in various branches of agro-food studies, providing analytical and theoretical insight for examining alternative food networks, coordination and governance in agro-food value chains, and the so-called ‘quality turn’ in food production and consumption. In this article, I examine convention theory applications in the Anglophone literature on agro-food studies through the review of 51 relevant contributions. I highlight how CT has helped explain different modes of organization and coordination of agro-food operations in different places, and how it has provided new venues of approaching quality – in view of understanding how exchange of agro-food products takes place and with what social and power dynamics. I trace two main analytical streams of this literature: one focussing on agro-food adaptations of the ‘worlds of production’ framework (Salais and Storper, 1992; Storper and Salais, 1997); and another applying the ‘orders of worth’ approach of Boltanski and Thevenot (1991[2006]) and further elaborations of ‘quality conventions’. After tracing broad trajectories and the significance of new developments in this literature, I highlight its current limitations and suggest some directions for future research.

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