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Revue Internationale de Psychosociologie et de Gestion des Comportements Organisationnels (RIPCO)
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La cinquième journée de recherche de la RIPCO, axée sur le "bien-être/mal-être au travail", a réuni 93 participants et 35 présentations de 63 contributeurs internationaux au campus de l'ICN à Paris-La Défense le 6 juin 2024, et le comité éditorial envisage de transformer cet événement annuel en congrès académique de deux jours. SOUMETTRE
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Call for contributions : RIPCO Special Issue Download the call in PDF
 
Sensitive research and organisational behaviour: from dilemma to action
 
Guest editors :
 

Emilie HENNEQUIN - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne
Bérangère CONDOMINES - CNAM Paris
Philippe JACQUINOT - Université Paris Saclay / Evry
Olivier GUILLET - Université de Toulon

 
Abstract

In organizations subjected to a highly competitive environment, with an increasingly fractured work world, the consideration of sensitive topics by companies—pertaining to ethical issues (fraud, deviance, power plays), taboos (addictions), vulnerable individuals (health conditions), disadvantaged groups (discrimination), and marginalized statuses (gray areas of employment relationships)—as well as behaviors related to private life (domestic violence) becomes as pressing as it is complex, often echoing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) challenges. The field of "sensitive research" helps to understand the emotional, managerial, and strategic difficulties faced by all stakeholders (executives, operational managers, employees, researchers, etc.) and to propose an operational framework to grasp the dilemmas encountered and analyze appropriate modes of action. This special issue will welcome contributions that analyze, through the lens of sensitivity, the behaviors and modes of action of actors to advance knowledge on the reality of sensitivity within organizations and the associated organizational behaviors around three main questions: How do individuals and collectives approach the dilemmas and behaviors associated with sensitive subjects in organizations? How does sensitivity lead to a reflexivity of the actors about themselves, others, and situations? To what extent does the sensitive situation lead to adjustments, adaptations, or innovations by the actors?

 

Sensitive issues within organizations have garnered increasing interest across professional, socio-political, and academic spheres, as well as in public opinion. These topics may relate to deviance (including fraud, data theft and harassment), inclusion (such as workplace discrimination or religious expression), employee privacy (addressing issues like disability or caregiving), or ethical dilemmas (such as abuse of power or conflicts of interest). They often lead to crises and genuine dilemmas for the parties involved, prompting them to scrutinize their actions in terms of responsibility, integrity, and cooperation. These subjects invite us to reevaluate and reconsider our approaches through the lens of sensibility and its unique characteristics.

Historically developed in sociology and subsequently echoed in various social sciences (such as ethnology, anthropology, medicine, and education), sensitive research has gained prominence in management sciences since the beginning of the 2010s, be it in the study of organizations, managerial situations, professional practices, and workplace behaviors (Jehn & Jonsen, 2010; Hennequin & Condomines, 2022). Researchers have actively structured this field of inquiry (Hennequin, 2012; Gilbert & Teglborg, 2021). Aligned with the stream of “sensitive researches” (Renzetti & Lee, 1993), the sensitive nature of a research is socially constructed (Haider, 2022) and stems from the potential threats it poses to various stakeholders involved in the study (employees, managers, companies, clients, suppliers, researchers, etc.; Hennequin et al., 2021). These threats may be related either to the subject matter itself (taboo, intimate, incriminating, or stigmatizing; Campbell, 2002) or to the participants and their personal and/or professional situations (marginalized, vulnerable, or fragile; Liamputtong, 2007). Given the delicate and sometimes controversial nature of these topics, which are “some of society’s pressing social issues” (Sieber and Stanley, 1988, p.55) and associated with “critical organizational issues” (Jehn and Jonsen, 2010, p. 314), employees, managers, and executives face numerous dilemmas and must question their modes of action: how to behave, whether to act in accordance with personal values or organizational expectations, and what support organizations can provide to prevent potential underlying crises related to some of these issues (Arbouch and Triclin, 2011; Graham et al., 2020)?

In this special issue, we will promote all types of theoretical or empirical contributions, seeking to shed light on the behaviors associated with a subject and/or a sensitive situation and questioning individual or organizational modes of action. The authors may refer to the Hirschman model (1970) and its extensions (Bajoit, 1988; Grima and Glaymann, 2012; Ossandon, 2021). Hirschman characterizes three capacities for human action in response to a difficulty or a crisis situation: Exit (withdrawal adjustment), Voice (opening a space for exchange, facilitating cooperation), and Loyalty (acceptance linked to an "attachment to the organization" leading either to a form of submission or to a hope of being able to defend his /her values). This model and its revisitations thus question reactions, passive/active opposition behaviors or cooperation between individuals within organizations in the event of a crisis, perceived risks or conflicts and can thus serve as a framework for thinking and analyzing sensitive researches interested in the behavior of actors in the organizational context. The articles can deal with both the determinants and effects as well as the process (Gaillard et al., 2022).

In this perspective, the proposals in response to this call may focus on three areas :

Firstly, contributions can approach the subject and/or the sensitive situation by characterizing the associated behaviors. It could be to shed light on disruptive adjustments among employees oscillating between disillusionment and distress (Simon, 2022) or to analyze the mechanisms of neutralization allowing an individual or a group to justify his/her deviance (Sachet-Milliat et al., 2021). Beyond these argumentative forms, other forms of speech can lead to deepen the art of speaking and dialogue in business in the context of a sensitive situation (Condomines and Hennequin, 2020). This hope of defending one’s values through speaking can also lead to develop the theoretical frameworks of attachment or of submission. In this perspective, the merger even the confusion between the action and its purpose can be discussed by mobilizing human nature and the non-economic motivations (desires for power, quest of truth, search for meaning, etc.). Setting discussion of responsibility in the light of irresponsibility can be enlightening both in terms of hierarchical relationship (Holcman, 2009) and social responsibility (Ingham, 2016). This framework may rise the question of no choice in business environment (Lemoine, 2014).

Secondly, contributions can put in dialogue sensitive research and individual and collective modes of action through the prism of corporate social responsibility. The politic intention and the philosophical rooting of Hirschman model lead to consider the emergence of a reasonable social, political and economic environment and to introduce the notions of fairness and moral problems. In this context, social justice promotes the emergence of skills and behaviors unsuspected by individuals (Sen, 2000; Condomines, 2022).

Behind the question of loyalty to an organization and society as a whole which has given a license to operate, source of dilemma when values diverge (Jacquinot and Pellissier-Tanon, 2019; Jacquinot and Pellissier-Tanon, 2021), raises that of integrity, namely that of fidelity to the word given to others and to oneself, precisely to respect the virtues of his/her social roles (Jacquinot, 2021). Basically, those who act in harmony will retain their inner unity considering the sensibility of others according to their intimate conviction, made of practical wisdom more than of alignment with a sometimes instrumentalizing code of ethics (Giroux, 1999; Jacquinot and Pellissier-Tanon, 2015) within pernicious structures (Nussbaum, 2011).

Thirdly, due to the overlapping of problems and uncertainty related to sensitive situations, contributions can study the adjustments to the conduct of the concerned actors (employees, managers, directors, researchers, etc.; Guillet, 2020, 2022). Hirschman’s model demonstrates that these behaviors are a rationalization of the character sensitive to the situation, revealing the phenomena of learning, awareness, and confidence in the mutual possibilities. These sensitive situations can give rise to adaptations and innovations (Glée and Mispelblom Beyer, 2012). Individuals and organizations often find themselves disarmed, which can lead them to resort to ‘bricolage’, taking an indirect path or making compromises (Hirschman, 1995). Faced with the sensitive, the researcher must himself/herself demonstrates open-mindedness, self-criticism, and revisions of one's positions, which can lead to a self-correcting practice of his/her profession (echoing Hirschman’s self-subversion). Conducting sensitive research requires being able to adapt the research design to the hazards resulting from sensibility of the subject, the period and/or the place (Isséki, 2022) and leads to ethical and epistemological questions (adjustments: Jacquinot et al., 2021; reflexivity: Saint-Germes et al., 2021; delicacy: Vallet- Renart and Vinot, 2021).

With this special issue, we hope to be able to answer three main questions:

  1. How do individuals and groups understand dilemmas and behaviors associated with sensitive subjects in organization?
  2. How does the sensibility lead to a reflexivity of actors on themselves, on others and on situations?
  3. To what extent does the sensitive situation lead to adjustments, adaptations or innovations of the actors?

During the evaluation of submissions, particular attention will be paid to the characterization of the sensitivity of the research and the dilemmas encountered by the actors, thereby highlighting the conflicts in choice of action in relation to individual and/or organizational values.

 
How to submit?
 

Submitting articles to the RIPCO is done via the RIPCO manuscript manager website at : https://www.manuscriptmanager.net/ripco

When submitting, authors must choose the special issue "Special Issue : Recherches sensibles et CO" from the drop-down menu in the field " If the manuscript is destinated to a Special Issue, please make a choice" found in the "DETAILS" page of the submission. Proposals should follow the editorial standards of the journal: ripco-online.com/en/avantSoumission.asp

 
Review process
 

All articles submitted to the journal are reviewed on a double-blind basis and all resubmitted manuscripts go through the same review process, and the previously solicited reviewers give an assessment based on consideration of the changes suggested in the first round of review. The final editorial decision will be made on the basis of the proposed revised manuscript, in the form of either an acceptance for publication or a final rejection, possibly with an invitation to resubmit for a regular issue of the journal.

 
Tentative Schedule
 

August 31, 2024: Deadline for submissions
December 2, 2024: Answer to authors
February 3, 2025: Submission of revised manuscripts
April 28, 2025: Final decision
May 26, 2025: Submission of the final version

 
References
 
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  • Bajoit, G. (1988). Exit, Voice, Loyalty... and Apathy: Les réactions individuelles au mécontentement. Revue française de sociologie, 325-345.
  • Campbell, J. L. (2002). Ideas, politics, and public policy. Annual Review of Sociology, 28, 21-38.
  • Condomines, B. (2022). Au fondement d’une Gestion des Ressources Humaines responsable à l’aune de la Justice Rawlsienne : Une approche par la compétenciabilité. Mémoire d’Habilitation à diriger des recherches, Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier 3.
    Condomines, B. & Hennequin, E. (2020). Le syndrome du vilain petit canard : de l’ostracisme à la vénération: Le cas des lanceurs d’alerte. @GRH, 37, 13-38.
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  • Gilbert, P., & Teglborg, A. C. (2021). Enquêter sur la transformation organisationnelle : sujet sensible et exigence de réflexivité. RIMHE: Revue Interdisciplinaire Management, Homme (s) & Entreprise, 4, 90-105.
  • Graham, K. A., Resick, C. J., Margolis, J. A., Shao, P., Hargis, M. B., & Kiker, J. D. (2020). Egoistic norms, organizational identification, and the perceived ethicality of unethical pro-organizational behavior: A moral maturation perspective. Human Relations, 73(9), 1249-1277.
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  • Guillet, O. (2020). Proposition d’une typologie des stratégies de comportements managériaux en présence de faits religieux au travail. Résultats d’une étude exploratoire dans le contexte français. Revue Internationale de Psychosociologie et de Gestion des Comportements Organisationnels, 66 (XXVI), 189-220.
  • Guillet, O. (2022). Etude des facteurs impactant les stratégies comportementales des managers en présence d’un fait religieux au travail. Résultats d’une étude exploratoire dans le contexte français. Revue Internationale de Psychosociologie et de Gestion des Comportements Organisationnels, 73 (XXVIII), 5-35.
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  • Jacquinot, P., & Pellissier-Tanon, A. (2015). L’autonomie de décision dans les entreprises libérées de l’emprise organisationnelle : Une analyse des cas de Google et de la Favi. Revue internationale de psychosociologie et de gestion des comportements organisationnels, XXI, 365-384.
  • Jacquinot, P., & Pellissier-Tanon, A. (2019). Conspiracy of silence vs. moral freedom. Applying the concept of structure of sin to the phenomenon of whistleblowing. Journal of Markets and Morality, 22 (1), 147-167.
  • Jacquinot, P., & Pellissier-Tanon, A. (2021). Du silence organisationnel à la colère déontique : la prise de parole du whistleblower. Gérer & comprendre, 146, 27-38.
  • Jehn, K. A., & Jonsen, K. (2010). A multimethod approach to the study of sensitive organizational issues. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 4(4), 313-341.
  • Lemoine, C. (2014). Décision et non-décision dans les organisations. Connexions, 101, 19-30.
  • Liamputtong, P. (2007). Researching the vulnerable: A guide to sensitive research methods. London: Sage Publications.
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  • Renzetti, C. M., & Lee, R.M. (1993). Researching sensitive topics. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, California .
  • Sachet-Milliat, A., Baïada-Hirèche, L., & Bourcier-Béquaert, B. (2021). Défis méthodologiques et éthiques d’une recherche sensible : le cas des stratégies de défense des marketers de produits nocifs face à la condamnation sociale. In GRH et questions sensibles en entreprise : approches sociales, sociétales et managériales (Eds., Hennequin E., Condomines, B., Jan-Kerguistel, A., Pijoan, N., & Saint-Germes, E.), Vuibert, 325-343.
  • Saint-Germes, E., Gaillard, H., Guillet, O., Volia, J-C., & Hussenot, A. (2021). S'engager dans une recherche sensible en GRH : une expérience d'agilité et de réflexivité. In GRH et questions sensibles en entreprise. In GRH et questions sensibles en entreprise : approches sociales, sociétales et managériales (Eds., Hennequin E., Condomines, B., Jan-Kerguistel, A., Pijoan, N., & Saint-Germes, E.), Vuibert, 283-306.
  • Sen, A. (2000). Un nouveau modèle économique. Développement, Justice, Liberté, Editions Odile Jacob.
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  • Simon, T. (2022). « L’entreprise fantôme » entre fidélité et désertion : deux modalités du rapport des jeunes diplômés à l’entreprise ?. Thèse de doctorat, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.
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Contact
 

contact@ripco-online.com

 
 
Calls for contributions
Special Issue: Vol.XXXI, Num. CFP_SI_IAORGA ( 2025)
Artificial intelligence in organisations, how to (better) work with it?
Guest editors: Christelle MARTIN LACROUX and Fabienne PEREZ
Deadline : 31/08/2024
Organisations are undergoing a significant transformation, described as the fourth industrial revolution or the era of algorithms. Artificial Intelligence (AI), defined as a technology that allows machines to reproduce human-like behaviours, plays a major role in this, with technologies now widely deployed in organisations. Machine Learning is a notable technology that enables cumulative learning from training data to create algorithmic decision support systems. These technologies are reshaping practices and processes at both team and individual levels. AI has transformed how people collaborate with algorithmic systems and how those systems interact. In recruitment, AI is used in various stages, from information extraction to automated interview analysis. "Augmen ...
Special Issue: Vol.XXXI, Num. CFP_SI_RECHSENSOB ( 2025)
Sensitive research and organisational behaviour: from dilemma to action
Guest editors: Emilie HENNEQUIN, Bérangère CONDOMINES, Philippe JACQUINOT, Olivier GUILLET
Deadline : 31/08/2024
In organizations subjected to a highly competitive environment, with an increasingly fractured work world, the consideration of sensitive topics by companies—pertaining to ethical issues (fraud, deviance, power plays), taboos (addictions), vulnerable individuals (health conditions), disadvantaged groups (discrimination), and marginalized statuses (gray areas of employment relationships)—as well as behaviors related to private life (domestic violence) becomes as pressing as it is complex, often echoing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) challenges. The field of "sensitive research" helps to understand the emotional, managerial, and strategic difficulties faced by all stakeholders (executives, operational managers, employees, researchers, etc.) and to propose an operational framework to g ...
 
 
   
 
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