How Communicative Performances Can Constitute an Organization’s Self

  • Fabien Hildwein Centre d’Economie de l’Université Paris Nord (CEPN), Université Sorbonne Paris Nord, Villetaneuse, France
Keywords: Communicative performances, Organization’s self, Communicative constitution of organizing, Activist groups, Qualitative case-study

Abstract

The creation of an organization’s self is the attribution of a collective will and agency to a group of individuals, thereby constituting them into an organization able to interact with its peers. As such, the organization’s self represents a central issue for collective action, as studied through the prism of the “communicative constitution of organizing” (CCO). Performances, as communicative and spectacular events during which a collectivity presents its self and displays a given message, represent a little-studied opportunity to understand the constitution of the organization’s self, and to explore the links between the organization’s self and the selves of its members. The empirical part of this study analyses the French feminist activist group, La Barbe, which uses innovative performances to denounce the absence of women at the top of organizations. The paper’s contribution is twofold: the analysis presents how visual and symbolic performances can help to constitute an organization’s self, notably through what performances produce for the organization: visibility, coordination and mobilization. Second, it shows the impact of performances on those who execute them, which retroactively has important organizational effects by ensuring their engagement in the organization.

Manuscript accepted by Jeremy Morales

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Author Biography

Fabien Hildwein, Centre d’Economie de l’Université Paris Nord (CEPN), Université Sorbonne Paris Nord, Villetaneuse, France

Fabien Hildwein is Assistant Professor in Management at the CEPN (Université Sorbonne Paris Nord). He received his Ph.D. from HEC-Paris. His main research interests focus on alternative organizations and their organizing processes (in particular communication and mobilization). He is currently conducting an ethnographic study of innovative organizations in the mental health sector, in underprivileged areas.

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Published
2020-03-31
How to Cite
Hildwein, F. (2020). How Communicative Performances Can Constitute an Organization’s Self. M@n@gement, 23(1), 61-80. https://doi.org/10.37725/mgmt.v23.4425
Section
Original Research Articles