Revue Internationale de Psychosociologie et de Gestion des Comportements Organisationnels (RIPCO)
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Volume XXIV • Issue 58 • 2018 (Already published)
Guest editor(s): Frédéric, Bornarel
The over-rational organization
Managerial modes come and go, pass and return, but all seem to carry the same message: the time of horizontality and organizational flexibility has arrived. The new creed in place is that of adaptation in real time. Thus, the liberated company, the 2.0 company, holacracy, and many others, are promoted in spite of the heavy logics of the pyramidal or bureaucratic forms. Do these discourses affect change? Admittedly, many examples can bear witness to the effectiveness of structures flattening; certainly, many cases may illustrate the shift towards a friendly and collaborative management. However, the diagnosis would not be complete if we failed to look at the birth of super-rational monsters who, far from refining and shrinking in size as encouraged by the lean management discourse, keep on, figuratively speaking, by putting on weight and getting regulatory rolls of fat and procedural blisters. What theoretical and practical issues does this overdose of rationality raise? How can we get out of this vicious circle? And, is rationality an effective weapon against its own excesses? Thanks to Frédéric Bornarel, Associate Professor at IAE Metz, for bringing together this set of articles that shed light on the previous questions.
Issue content
Title :  Silvester Ivanaj joins the editorial team of RIPCO
Pages :  3 - 4
Type :  Announcement
URL Cairn:
Title :  Editorial
Author(s) :  Baptiste, Rappin
Abstract :  Managerial modes pass, pass, return, but all seem to carry the same message: the times of horizontality and organizational flexibility have come, the new creed is that of adaptation in real time. Thus the liberated enterprise, the enterprise 2.0, the holacracy, and many others, are promoted to the detriment of the heavy logics of the pyramidal or bureaucratic forms. Are these discourses followed by effects? Certainly, many examples can testify to the effectiveness of the flattening of the structures; certainly, many cases can illustrate the shift towards a friendly and collaborative management. However, the diagnosis would not be complete if we failed to look at the birth of super-rational monsters who, far from refining and losing weight as encouraged by the lean management discourse, never end no more piling up the regulatory rolls and the procedural blisters. What theoretical and practical issues raises this overdose of rationality? How can we break out of this vicious circle? And is rationality an effective weapon against its own excesses? Thank Frédéric Bornarel, Associate Professor at the IAE Metz, for bringing together this set of articles that shed light on previous questions.
Pages :  5 - 5
Type :  Editorial
URL Cairn:
Title :  Over-rationality and organizational configurations
Author(s) :  Frédéric, Bornarel ; Sandrine, Virgili
Abstract :  In this paper, we question excesses of the instrumental rationality disseminated by managerial thought in a large, based on Elster’s work. Starting from the concept of over-rationality still little explored in management science, we first expose its roots and, particularly, the psychic mechanisms associated with its development in organizations. Then we discuss successively different forms of over-rationality and their effects in two well-known organizational configurations: bureaucratic and post-bureaucratic configuration. We show that, if forms are different, the mechanisms of the over-rationality at work are identical and the pseudo-rationalism remains predominant. In the end, we point out the role of mistrust in the over-rational organization and plead for a restoration of personal trust as a solution to overcome over-rationality.
Keywords:  over-rationality, bureaucracy, post-bureaucracy, formalism, control
Pages :  45 - 68
Type :  Research paper
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Title :  The quest of rationality: standardization in the delivery of care
Author(s) :  Claude, Sicotte ; Étienne, Minvielle
Abstract :  Over-rationality is addressed in this article in terms of excessive standardization of the process of care delivered to patients. In this specific case, standardization can be observed in the definition and implementation of operational procedures, in the definition of best practices based on evidence-based medicine, and in the introduction of performance standards (e.g. an optimal delay). A deep analysis of the organization of work required by the process of care reveals that the goal of this organization is to determine a balance between standardization and adaptation, depending of the occurrence of unforeseen situations to face in the daily activity. Then, an excessive standardization can limit the flexibility required in the organization of work. We illustrate this phenomenon of over-rationality through two cases: the use of operational procedures, often named “protocol”, and the implementation of information systems. Last, we identify reasons of this trend, and, in return, affirm the need to acknowledge an autonomous actor able to assess the best attitude to adopt for managing the variety of working situations to face during the delivery of care.
Keywords:  care path, personalization, standardization, information technology, rationality
Pages :  69 - 90
Type :  Research paper
URL Cairn:
Title :  When over-rationality causes sub-rationality
Author(s) :  Johan, Bernardini-Perinciolo ; Marius, Bertolucci
Abstract :  The public hospital or the place of confrontation between the healthcare and the economic institutional logics Our article questionne the effects of the managerialization of the french public hospital with the institutional logic approach. From the study of one French public hospital, based on 31 semi-structured interviews, participant observations and the analysis of internal and external reports and documentations, we highlight a case of uncontrolled hybridity where the presence of two competing institutional logics creates tensions between groups of actors and, finally, management difficulties. Indeed, management staff, guided by economic and managerial practices and values (i.e. institutional logic) tends to the healthcare logic that is endorsed by medical and paramedical staff. We show that this opposition, in favor of the economico-managerial logic, produces contre-finalités : the over-rationality of one group causes the sub-rationality of another one.
Pages :  91 - 109
Type :  Research paper
URL Cairn:
Title :  Using simple rules to make faster and better decisions: for a simplex approach to strategic management
Author(s) :  Albéric, Tellier ; Pascal, Aurégan
Abstract :  The “strategy as simple rules” approach mainly developed by Kathleen Eisenhardt, can be seen as a response to the dangers of “over-rationality” in the field of strategic management. However, the theoretical foundations of this approach are currently challenged. The purpose of this article is to contribute to the debate on its theoretical robustness by mobilizing recent developments on the theory of “simplexity”. According to this theory, it is possible and relevant to use simple rules to respond to the complexity of an environment. In the first part of the article, we present the “simple rules” approach. The connections with the theory of simplexity are then discussed. We show that simplexity offers a theoretical framework that can reinforce the relevance and interest of the concept of simple rules in strategic management. However, we also highlight the current inadequacies of the “simple rules” approach and propose recommendations to strengthen it. First, the issues of reliability, specialization and selection are overlooked. Then, the notion of redundancy has a different meaning in the theory of simplexity. Finally, the work of Eisenhardt and his colleagues partially addresses the conditions of emergence and renewal of rules, including the role played by strategic vision.
Pages :  111 - 138
Type :  Research paper
URL Cairn:
Title :  State platform: towards a new rationality of public choices?
Author(s) :  Marie-Pierre, Philippe-Dussine
Abstract :  With the program "Public Action 2022", the French government promises to regenerate in depth the principles of rationality that drive public action. Borrowing the principles of Open Data, its proposed state-platform. intends to give more space to the individual, instituting new information flows and new co-productions. To what extent can this reform of the State contribute to a real institutional evolution marked by the search for an increased rationality? To answer this problematic, we borrow here to the New Institutional Economy, to conceive of the State platform as a new form of organization, trying to limit the transaction costs between its different constitutive relations, innovating and modifying its institutional framework .
Keywords:  state, open-data, organization, rationality, institutional change
Pages :  139 - 154
Type :  Research paper
URL Cairn:
Title :  The rational myth of total quality
Author(s) :  Yvon, Pesqueux
Abstract :  First of all, organizational logics are often expressed through rational myths as well as total quality. The organizational vocabulary that serves as a reference to the myth is representative of the tensions peculiar to the organizational substance concerned, as in the case of the categories of the subordination link through the rational myth of total quality. The argumentation of this text is as follows: after having recalled the foundations of what is a myth and then interested in the foundations of the organizational myths, it is then more precisely a question of the rational myth of the total quality of which we will see the constituent elements, chronology and then fetish authors.
Keywords:  myth, rational myth, total quality, metaphor
Pages :  155 - 169
Type :  Research paper
URL Cairn:
Title :  Intelligence diversity within organisations: discriminant variables between high potentials, talents and HIQ
Author(s) :  Dominic, Drillon ; Nathalie, Montargot ; Philippe, Mouillot
Abstract :  HR policies no longer summarise through sporadic actions seeking self-performance and competitive advantages. Nowadays, they are considered full strategies from cultural, production or positioning perspectives. Yet, at a time when the interest for A.I. grows in major scientific and political environments, natural intelligence is still not measured in organisations. Then, how about HIQ role in companies? Nevertheless, French professionals only consider gifted children; HIQ adults do not benefit from the same care. This probably comes from the difficulty to name a HIQ person since such a substantive is often mixed up with high talents or potentials. Within the frame of a research about HIQ detection and support management in organisations, this article then anchors the necessary semantic roots of managerial meaning of talent, potential and HIQ concepts that the literature identifies. More precisely, it highlights semantic convergences and divergences that eventually allow to clearly define what managers should mean when considering someone a talented, a gifted or a high potential person.
Keywords:  intelligence, talents, high potentials, HIQ
Pages :  171 - 196
Type :  Research paper
URL Cairn:
Title :  The impact of management tool’s nationality on its adoption potential. The case of the models wachstumskontrolle©??e???? t?? a???s??©©
Author(s) :  Romain, Zerbib
Abstract :  Our study - based on neo-institutional theory and managerial theory - aims to improve our understanding of the complex mechanisms for disseminating and adopting management tools within organizations. We postulate that the geographical origin of a management tool - or more precisely its highlighting within the promotional discourse - has an effect on the perception of managers and their propensity to adopt it, or not. An empirical test conducted with 22 respondents, via two fictitious tools, helped to answer the problematic.
Keywords:  innovation, management fashion theory, management tool, mimetism, neo-institutional theory, conformism
Pages :  197 - 213
Type :  Research paper
URL Cairn:
Title :  Employees’ representations of retention factors in very small businesses
Author(s) :  Paul, Couteret
Abstract :  Ensuring the retention of employees appears to be an important factor in the performance of very small businesses (VSBs). This research seeks to understand better the specifics of VSB employees’ representation of retention factors in French hair salons. From our results, based on a qualitative study of 19 employees, 13 principal factors emerge, notably the balance between professional and personal life and the support of the manager. Analysis of links between employee retention factors reveals an optimal classification into three groups. This analysis reveals that retention in VSBs derives largely from the match between employees and management style.
Keywords:  employee retention, human resource management, very small business, qualitative study, hairdressing
Pages :  215 - 252
Type :  Research paper
URL Cairn:
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