Continuing tradition to accommodate constraints : social life on a warship

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Sociologist, Research director CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique : National Centre for Scientific Research)

Seminar Social life | Thursday January 15, 1998

Naval servicemen are unlike any other marine or military personnel. It is rare for them to extend their length of service, and the ship takes on the dimension of being a "complete institution", a closed world run by a hierarchy, where all activities (whether work-related or not) are carried out. It is a world which other military personnel do not know. Promiscuity brings with it its share of conflicts, in an environment where this word is forbidden, as are the words 'delegation', 'claims', 'representative' and 'union'. In order to cope with the problems of daily life and work organisation, this unusual workforce applies efficient types of regulations inherited from tradition but with a sufficient safety net of turnover to avoid explosive situations : the average length of posting on any one ship is not more than eighteen months.

The entire article was written by:

Lucien CLAES

This session was published in issue n°12 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled Le village et le monde des affaires .

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