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PhD Program

PhD Dissertation Defense, Laure Lelasseux, Management and Human Resources

Congratulations to Dr Laure Lelasseux, Management and Human Resources specialization, who successfully defended her Doctoral Dissertation at HEC Paris, on June 29, 2021. Laure will start a postdoc position at  IESEG School of Management (France) from next September.

Specialization: Management and Human Resources

Dissertation Topic: Professions and institutional change. 

Advisor: Roxana Barbulescu, Associate Professor, HEC Paris

Jury Members:   

Joel Bothello, Associate Professor, Concordia University
Tom Lawrence, Professor, Oxford Said Business School 
Michel Lander, Professor, Rotterdam School of Management 
Anca Metiu, Professor, ESSEC Business School

Roxana Barbulescu Associate Professor, HEC Paris, Advisor



My desire for impact made me decide that one of the chapters of my dissertation ‘Professions and institutional change’ would concern the ‘Regulatory Agency of Fertility Doctors in the reform of medically assisted reproduction’, a subject extremely important in my eyes.




Overall, in my dissertation, I aimed at answering the following question: What constitutes, drives, and structures professional agency in relation to institutions? While research has already clearly established the importance of professions and professionals as preeminent actors of institutional change (Muzio et al., 2013; Scott, 2008), I demonstrate that professional agency bears specificities that differentiate it from the agency of other actors. Throughout my three chapters, I identified three types of specificities that should be taken into account in studies of professions and professionals as agents of institutional change. First, professional agency is inscribed within local practices, which are sites of experience of institutional contradictions. I consider that in order to be fully understood, professional agency must be articulated through professional identity (Chapter 1). Additionally, connecting agency and professional identity opens ways to integrate the role of emotions in the study of professions, as causal mechanisms for professional action (Chapter 3). Last, professional agency is influenced by professions’ embeddedness in permanent interprofessional competitions (Abbott, 1988; Anteby, 2010; Barley, 1986; Nelsen & Barley, 1997). This implies that the process of taking part in regulatory agency is not only dependent on the needs of the professions to secure their own interests but also on their position in the system of professions (Abbott, 1988), (Chapter 2).