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Institut Interdisciplinaire de l'Innovation

Henri Fayol. Performativity of his ideas and oblivion of their creator

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ABSTRACT: Henri Fayol formulated one of the first theories of management and allows us to see how one of the first scientific approaches of management could or could not perform management practices. Therefore, Fayol is particularly interesting from the point of view of performativity (Callon, 1998, 2007, MacKenzie et al., 2007, Muniesa, 2014). The case is all the richer because it presents the rare characteristic of a direct confrontation between two rival theories, his and Taylor's, at the level of this process of performativity. In the1920s, a battle was going on in France and in Europe between the Fayol's ideas and Taylor's ones, especially at the level of public management. In the short term, Taylor won this battle of performativity and Fayol lost it. In the long term, Fayol's ideas have shaped modern management practices. Keywords: Fayol; Taylor; management theories; performativity; felicity conditions. RESUMÉ : Henri Fayol a formulé l’une des premières théories en management, ce qui peut nous permettre d’étudier la manière dont le management peut ou non « performer » les pratiques. De ce point de vue, Fayol fournit un cas d’étude de la performativité particulièrement intéressant. Ce cas est d’autant plus riche qu’il présente la caractéristique extrêmement rare d’une confrontation directe entre deux théories rivales qui, l’une et l’autre, cherchent à modifier les pratiques managériales. En effet, dans les années 1920, une bataille s’est déroulée en France et en Europe entre la théorie de Fayol et celle de Taylor, essentiellement sur le terrain du management public. À court terme, c’est Taylor qui a emporté la lutte de performativité. À long terme, les idées de Fayol ont marqué sans doute plus profondément les pratiques managériales. Mots clés : Fayol ; Taylor ; théories managériales ; performativité ; conditions de félicité.

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Projects, Agency and the Multi-Level Perspective : Insights from Numerical Weather Prediction

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1. Introduction : There is growing interest in the field of innovation studies for the question of technological transitions. Indeed whereas most of the literature focuses on the design and diffusion of innovations, the question of transition from one technological system to another has recently gained a renewed attention. This is very probably triggered by the growing awareness that climate change will will force our society to profoundly change their functioning in many domains (agriculture, transportation, energy, etc). In particular, the work of Frank Geels leads to an important research stream on the Multi-Level Perspective (MLP) framework (Geels, 2002 & next). The MLP represent the transition from one technology to another by the interaction between three different levels : the landscape, the current technological regime and niche in which radical innovations first appears. This frameworks leads to a renewal of the analysis of technological transition since it integrates scientific, technical, social and regulatory dimensions. Therefore the MLP sheds a new light on major technological transitions (e.g. from horse transportation to automobiles in Geels, 2005) and allows to identify different type of technological transitions (Geels & Schot, 2007). Of course the MLP is not without criticism (Smith & al, 2005 ; Genus & Cole, 2008). In particular a recurring question relates to the problem of agency and the relative lack of the actor’s perspective in the MLP. Indeed, until now, research on MLP tends to favor longitudinal historical studies over a long time span.

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