Company cultures and managements

Globalisation has changed the way in which national, regional, social, organisational and professional cultures are perceived and used in business. Closer to home, a culture's influence can be detected by the behaviour and by the staff representatives of the employees of a company, regardless of company size, functions or hierarchical structures. Changes in the composition of the workforce and sectors of activity may transform or weaken certain cultures (in the case of the blue-collar worker culture often associated with an industrial or trade union culture) while favouring others (the white-collar worker culture associated with a service industry culture). Today, work methods and ways of thinking are discussed and contested during negotiations, while projects are being carried out and when teams are put together and organised. Important issues and pressing concerns define the way in which managers and researchers handle this aspect of culture : it may be regarded as a complex factor or alternatively seen a resource ; as a curb to change or a means to take action ; and as a framework for strategic diagnosis or a means of improving operational performance. This seminar is aimed at practitioners and researchers in social science. It presents an original way of discussing age-old questions, such as 'Do the ways in which members of a company act and think reflect a culture ?' 'How does culture become embodied in a company's organisation, its machines and its production and management technology ?' 'Is management possible, thanks to culture ?' 'Does culture contribute to company performance ?' These and many other questions will be discussed in the first three sessions of 2008.


Christian MOREL

Sociologue, auteur de la série d'ouvrages Les décisions absurdes I, II et III


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