The boss : a figure of the 20th century

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Director of studies, EHESS (École des hautes études en sciences sociales)

Seminar Company cultures and managements | Monday December 12, 2011 - 17h - 19h

We can all be the boss ! That is what the 20th century promised every one of us, according to Yves Cohen. The old order had legitimised the exercise of power according to one’s birth, but now reason should govern one’s choice of leaders. Scientists of all persuasions, CEOs and politicians should all come together to discuss the qualities which define the intrinsic qualities of a ‘good boss’. Leaders are now present everywhere, at all levels of all hierarchies, but are we any closer to understanding what makes them legitimate ? The emergence of the boss figure in the 20th century has a history which should be examined, and which makes him a ‘hot’ political subject.

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This session was published in issue n°95 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled La lente construction de la liberté.

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