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L'agentivité des artefacts dans les interactions comme observable de la dynamique organisationnelle

Abstract : Observing artifacts' agency inside interactions to study organizational change The present proposal is part of a wider research pro gram to analyze and understand rationalization pro cesses at work in medical activities. the approach to observing these processes concerns those technolo gical devices that equip them in a communicational approach of the organization within a work group. The purpose of this proposal is to describe and analyze how rationalization processes appear as emerging practices of professional nursing activity, strengthe ning the focus on the mobilization of artifactsof va rious kinds. emphasis will be placed on professional practices involved in the performance of the organi zation emerging from the introduction of information technology tools in the care activities performed by nurses. We will discuss the recourse to these artifacts in the activities, in order to describe social transforma tion processes operating. our team collected data from ethnographical observation sessions in different departments of the same hospital, and from inter views with health care professionals. From this data, we will show how the reconstruction of the organiza tion through interactions can question the negotiation of norms by observing socio-technical mediations. Communication approach of organizations to think organizational change To study the processes of ra tionalization of productive activity in the health sector and, more particularly, in public hospitals, is to ques tion the translation of economic policy - including the development based on political decisions to scale of a country - in procedures and practices in the lives of the caregivers. Such a project involves a theoretical apparatus to analyze organizational restructuring, es pecially by determining access points to observation. Communication approach of organizations (Bouillon et al., 2008) propose to study organizational dyna mics by linking three perspectives, three levels wich intersect, and allow the organization to clarify " in the making ", i.e. " organizing ". The ideological dimen sion (production of speech), procedural dimension (setting procedures of the activity), and situational dimension (communication situations) open corres ponding methodological access points for the study of communication phenomena, to better understand organizing and organizational change. We propose in this contribution to access organizing by the situatio nal dimension of interactions. We will operate a further restriction in this dimension by giving a central place to " non humans " and their capacity to contribute to action, in other words, their agency. Communication approach of organizations and norms The question of the emergence of new norms in the organization can be studied in different ways. one possible way of viewing this issue is based on questionning the terms of appearance of norms in negotiation situations that are writing practices. traces produced during these situations should be viewed " as key elements to look to capture fluctuation and instability of social norms in which the installation requires communica tion and phenomena of social construction of reality. " (Bouillon et al., 2007). the authors invite us to view professional objects mobilized in activity as research objects, and to study how these translate into actions. observing the objects, their agency and assembling the socio-technical collective By giving prominence to studying non-humans in social sciences, we follow the proponents of the actor-network sociologists. in so doing, we recognize that what we call " social " is materially heterogeneous, and that " the entities who compose collectives are the result of linking, of asso ciations of heterogeneous materials. " (Callon and law, 1997, p.104). Human actors, in this theoretical framework, reconstruct the collective locally through the interactions, with other heterogeneous entities as humans, artifacts and texts, for example. the metho dological entry point that we choose, namely the communication situations observation, let us see how actors adjust and actualize the knowledge individual ly and collectively to achieve organization perfor mance, and therefore, performance of the collective. it is in these communication situations that translations wich contribute to the molding of the collective are performed. This occurs by the tacit actualization of organization's surroundings during transformation into practices of prescribed activity, constituting the reby precondition for action. our study aims to clarify mediated interactions, and the mobilization of various objects in the implementation of action, by attemp ting to trace the agencies intersecting and forming the organization. Writing for others : the collective activity programing, objects' agency in all three orders of reality covered by the communication situa tions (Bourdin, 2008), each conceptually separate but necessarily interlinked at the same time, we can determine different classes of field observations. We keep these observable field elements as they allow us to understand non-human's intervention in the course of the action. With such an equipment for analyzing, we are able to highlight the significant mobilization of artifacts with various ontologies, participating to put organization into action, where organization is under stood as a " plenum of agencies " (Cooren, 2010). In the form of writing practices on objects mobilized through action, we witness a collective programing of common actions. this category of writing practices seems particularly interesting for us, in that it creates a modality of collective programing of action, parallel to the one scripted in the dedicated software, for this purpose. these practices are constituting a mediation to use the physical environment as a communication way. They also contributes to the organization perfor mance into interactions. these objects are equiped with an extra informational layer, which is contextua lized within the " framework of the joint action " of the nurses (Bourdin, 2008), and allows them to pro ject this inscription work into performativities that has been planned during these inscriptions. the analysis of traces of these communication situations seems rele vant to reflect the transformation processes at work in organization understood as an " intermediate level of social structuration " (Bourdin, 2008).
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Submitted on : Monday, July 22, 2013 - 3:24:20 PM
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  • HAL Id : hal-00835842, version 2


Marine Gout. L'agentivité des artefacts dans les interactions comme observable de la dynamique organisationnelle. Communiquer dans un monde de normes. L'information et la communication dans les enjeux contemporains de la " mondialisation "., Mar 2012, France. pp.102. ⟨hal-00835842v2⟩



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