CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

The emerging phenomenon of the “liberated company” seems to be attracting more and more managers. These new organizational models question traditional forms of power and the place of management within companies. Today, there are many experiments in managerial transformation in this sense around the world (Getz and Carney 2009), yet there are still too few theoretical analyses allowing us to grasp this polysemous subject with ill-defined boundaries.This article proposes to clarify the theoretical contours of the liberated company by using the sociology of conventions (Boltanski and Thévenot 1987; 1991). To do so, we compare the analysis of a concrete case of transformation toward liberation—company P—with the theoretical proposal of the cities developed by these authors. More precisely, we study to what extent the liberated company tends to get closer to or, conversely, to distance itself from certain cities rather than others. The results of this first exploratory study show that this is not a new organizational ontology in its own right, but rather an entanglement between the “industrial” and “project-based” worlds in the case of company P.


  • liberated company
  • tensions
  • worlds
  • sociology of conventions
  • semantic analysis
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