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Entreprises, travail - Société, modes de vie - Territoires, réseaux

How will Work Look in the Era of Digital Platforms? The Challenges of a New Social Contract

Strikes by Uber drivers and Deliveroo workers in France drew attention in spring and summer 2019 to the particular status of those workers who are non-salaried but nevertheless highly dependent on digital platforms that pay them by the job. Their situation may not perhaps be representative of all who work through such platforms and the employment generated by these platforms doesn’t perhaps represent a substantial share of total employment — particularly in France. Nevertheless, the appearance of these new forms of work raises a host of questions and that is why we deem it useful to assess the situation and examine the perspectives opened up for employment in the context of the increasing number of digital platforms in very different sectors (transport, housing, catering, the retail trade, job-seeking etc.).

In this article, Louis-Charles Viossat looks at the main characteristics of these platforms and the many different types of work and employment involved in their operation. He also shows the rather limited share of these kinds of jobs in the economy, downplaying the threat that some commentators see them as representing for salaried employment. He does, however, stress the risks with regard to working conditions and job quality that are created by platform working — risks which call for regulatory measures and a legal framework, so that the current social contract can be adapted to current and future developments in this field.


Entreprises, travail - Institutions - Société, modes de vie

Whistleblowers: an Opportunity for Capitalism?

In France, the law of 9 December 2016 on transparency, defeating corruption and modernizing economic life (the so-called “Sapin II” law) established a juridical framework designed to protect whistleblowers and lay down rules for reporting the facts they reveal. This represents a real advance in the way employees’ relations to their firm’s hierarchy are governed, enabling the general interest to be taken into account. Yet the decision to “blow the whistle” is still not an easy one, even in this new juridical context.

After reviewing the history of the emergence of whistleblowers and outlining the framework recently established in France, Patrice Cailleba stresses the legal obligations of companies in this regard. He shows how whistleblowers face being torn between faithfulness to their own values, loyalty to their employer and a sense of the general interest. However, he also demonstrates how much it is in organizations’ own interests to encourage whistleblowing – particularly at the managerial level. By facilitating such a work of “ethical vigilance” within their organizations, companies, government departments and the like may be said to be contributing to increasing trust in the capitalist system (a trust currently eroded, if not indeed lost).


Entreprises, travail - Recherche, sciences, techniques

Organiser l’autonomie au travail. Travail collaboratif, entreprise libérée, mode agile… L’activité à l’ère de l’auto-organisation

Organiser l’autonomie au travail. Travail collaboratif, entreprise libérée, mode agile… L’activité à l’ère de l’auto-organisation

Chaque année apporte son lot d’ouvrages de management. Beaucoup n’ont d’autre prétention que d’être des manuels pratiques à l’intention du manager confronté à des problèmes auxquels il n’a pas forcément été préparé. Bien entendu, ces livres obéissent à des mouvements de mode, souvent peu étayés sur le plan théorique. C’est à l’un d’entre eux que s’attaque Pascal Ughetto, professeur à l’université de Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée. Il s’agit de l ...

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Note de veille

Entreprises, travail - Société, modes de vie

The ‘Hacker’Ethic and the Maker Spirit

Based on an article in Futuribles 410 by Michel Lallement Drawing on a field study carried out in the ‘hackerspaces’ of California, Michel Lallement shows how different communities gather in spaces dedicated to ‘making things’ and even to ‘making things together’—new spaces of formal or informal work where individuals develop various personal or occupational projects. The ‘hackerspaces’ of the San Francisco Bay Area, which the present article examines, belong to that new family of organizations whose main common feature ...

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Entreprises, travail - Société, modes de vie

The “Hacker” Ethic and the Maker Spirit: The “Hackerspace” Experience in the San Francisco Bay Area

Whereas France (and Europe in general) is failing, despite the very strong attachment of French people to the work ethic, to overcome the crisis of employment in which it has been mired for more than 30 years, this article by Michel Lallement offers a breath of fresh air on the relationship to work and the possible alternatives in this area. Drawing on a field study carried out in Californian “hackerspaces”, Lallement shows how different communities gather in sites dedicated to “making” things and even to “making things together” —new spaces of formal or informal work where individuals develop various personal or occupational projects.

Michel Lallement first describes the hacker mentality and the particular example of the “hackerspaces” of the San Francisco Bay Area (pioneers in the field), then gives us an insight into the principles and practices of the hackers, as well as the forms of social regulation they have introduced over time in these spaces, the main watchword being to work “for yourself, with others”. It would, admittedly, be utopian to imagine that these kinds of workspaces could be extended for everyone’s use —traditional companies will continue to exist— but their development sends an interesting, encouraging signal that may well spread both geographically and to a variety of sectors, both with technological change and as generations born in the digital age arrive on the labour market —people who are more disposed to work both individually and in networks.


Entreprises, travail

Travailler au XXIe siècle

Aujourd’hui, les entreprises attendent de la part de leurs salariés un engagement total de leur subjectivité dans l’activité de travail. Il en résulte que la reconnaissance s’impose comme critère essentiel de repérage du rapport de l’individu à son travail, tant du point de vue de l’entreprise qui doit trouver les modalités de cette reconnaissance que de celui des salariés qui en attendent des manifestations concrètes. La reconnaissance s’inscrit également dans le contexte de la ...

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Entreprises, travail

La Comédie humaine du travail

C’est par le récit d’une opération de mise à distance de ses émotions que Danièle Linhart ouvre son livre : bouleversée par une séance de projection de vidéos dans lesquelles des femmes ont raconté la manière dont le travail les « vampirisait », la sociologue raconte comment elle a dû faire appel à tout ce que son métier lui a appris sur le travail pour échapper à l’envahissement et la contagion de cette souffrance. Et c’est un des grands ...

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Analyse prospective

Entreprises, travail

France : climat social et compétitivité

Les directions des ressources humaines sont souvent en décalage par rapport au vécu des personnels. C’est un phénomène mondial qui fragilise beaucoup d’entreprises. Il est particulièrement sensible dans le secteur privé français, ce qui contribue à une dégradation forte du climat social. Or plusieurs enquêtes et études démontrent un lien direct entre compétitivité, climat social et orientation des fonctions ressources humaines.


Entreprises, travail

A Constructive Vision of Businesses: On Freddy Sarfati’s “L’Entreprise autrement”

As Hubert Landier pointed out in his article on disengagement at work, published in the November issue of Futuribles, the classical business management model looks increasingly limited and needs to be challenged. The motivation and well-being of staff is at issue here, but also the smooth operation and economic profitability of companies.

Dominique Méda’s review of Freddy Sarfati’s book proposing a new way of operating within companies provides striking confirmation of this. In L’Entreprise autrement (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2010), Freddy Sarfati, a “self-made man” who set up his own business some 40 years ago, shows how companies have become “toxic” through the surveillance and mistrust of their own employees and through slavish compliance to financial diktat. Drawing on his personal experience, he shows that things can be very different and that a humanistic enterprise, operating with complete trust in its employees and in a close understanding with them, has every chance of succeeding as well, if not better than, others. This is a management lesson we hear too seldom, yet which ought to be widely disseminated among CEOs and HR managers in Western societies.