When Intranet Networks Support a Reappropriation of Occupations by the Organisation

By:
Dr Sylvie Craipeau
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These networks, which we term "learning communities", refer to collective bodies which are mixtures of socio-professional networks (which are open but fragile) and professional communities, supported by an intranet. This configuration seems to take the form of a recomposition via the organisation of the traditional occupations, a recomposition that is aimed at preserving and using some of the traditional dimensions of the occupation, such as commitment.

We are working on the hypothesis that learning communities constitute hybrid forms of organisation, a meeting place between the project of categories of employees looking for a new kind of professional recognition and the determination of managers of the organisation who wish to avoid what they see as the risks of corporatism, while benefiting from the mobilisation capacities of the occupation. This figure seems to be important to identify and understand as it corresponds in our view to a recent attempt on the part of management in France to integrate occupation and organisation. The aim, for the managers, is to encourage cross-functional communication between professionals, and thus in particular to transform the representations that traditionally mark each occupation, and the traditional cleavages, in order to promote the innovation and learning capabilities of the employees and thus of the organisation. This configuration thus constitutes an attempt to renew forms of coordination but also to achieve social integration.

With these communities, we are seeing the appearance of a new professionality, that is the transformation of the organisation and the definition of the occupation, and its mode of recognition, which refers to a transformation of coordination modes, particularly relating to the articulation between the formal and the emergent. This form of organisation, which is legitimate and recognised but is not formal, consists in fact of a mobilisation of the informal and the emergent. In fact, the members of the community are volunteers whose action is favoured, financially and institutionally, in so far as it corresponds to the strategy of the organisation. This figure is therefore based on a permanent tension between the emergent (informal) organisation and the institutionalisation of the action.

Traditionally, occupation and the company, like profession and the company, have seemed to be antinomic, as one of them refers to a social logic and the other to an economic logic, one to autonomous organisation and the other to somewhere between the two. But is this figure tenable? We will present the characteristics of this organisational form, as it appears through our investigation, and the questions that it raises


Keywords: Learning Communities
Stream: Technology in Community
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: When Intranet Networks Support a Reappropriation of Occupations by the Organisation


Dr Sylvie Craipeau

Institut National des TĂ©lĂ©communications


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