SnO events

2 October 2014

SnO meeting: Papers presentation by HEC Paris PhD students

  • When: 02/10/2014
  • Speakers: Sebastian Stenger & Anne Jacqueminet

“What do the auditors work for? An interactionist approach of the relational dynamics and of the practical logic of commitment at work” presented by Sebastian Stenger, PhD student in the Human Resources & Organizations department at HEC Paris .

Abstract: The paper proposes an interactionist sociology of audit firms (from qualitative data, interviews and participating in situation observations). Relational dynamics between individuals is analyzed to show how it produces a certain type of social control and involvement in the workplace. It shows that the hierarchical advancement is the result of an internal and decentralized reputational competition (called "up or out"), done through behavioral patterns (alliances, relational niches, status management etc.). It also shows that reputation is less a reflection of actual initial differences in talent that the product of social logic (dynamic of disproportion, virtuous and vicious circles, halo effects and homologies pairing). Behind an individualistic rhetoric (career, personal success), the experience of the firm is a desired social experience for itself because of its competitive nature. Individuals show an "agonistic ethos". The motivation is primarily that of the prestige afforded by the competitive nature of the event (the agents value positively the effort and suffering at work especially when it is sanctioned by the uncertainty of success or failure, they have internalized a binary vision of individuals and their ability (good and bad, losers winners, etc.). The competition is then presented as a generative principle of behavior in the firm studied. The competition has two essential functions among the interdependencies: a control function for the firm and a function of prestige and social distinction for the auditors.

“Coupling in an MNE: the role of practices’ characteristics” presented by Anne Jacqueminet, PhD student in Strategic management department at HEC Paris 

Abstract: This paper explains why certain practices are coupled and others decoupled by the subsidiaries of MNEs by bringing together two types explanations related to the practices: their characteristics and their institutionalization level in the different fields in which thesubsidiaries are embedded. To investigate the prioritization and complex articulation of these antecedents, they perform a fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis of 25 practices in 70 subsidiaries of an MNE. The preliminary results suggest that practices characteristicsand institutionalization level combine in explaining the practices’ coupling level. However, while the three practices’ characteristics studied–complexity, lack of value consistency and lack of relative performance advantage- are alternative core conditions for decoupling to occur, in high coupling configurations, the practices’ value compatibility is associated with either high institutionalization in the country or in the industry of the subsidiary as core conditions.

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