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Armand Hatchuel and the Refoundation of Management Research: Design Theory and the Epistemology of Collective Action

Blanche Segrestin 1 Franck Aggeri 1 Albert David 2 Pascal Le Masson 1 
2 MLab
DRM - Dauphine Recherches en Management
Abstract : Armand Hatchuel's work marks a turning point in management research and paves the way for a refoundation of management science. Hatchuel's research deals with organizational metabolism rather than organizational change, as he is concerned with the drivers of change and with the organization of innovative collective action. Several theoretical milestones can be put forward. First, Hatchuel offers a theory of the cognitive processes of generativity: while decision theory targets optimization by supporting the selection of a solution, " C-K theory " is a design theory. It accounts for the generation of new alternatives by expanding what is known, this process being driven by desirable unknowns. This theory has provided the theoretical cornerstone characterizing the rationality and organization of innovative or design-oriented collective action. Second, in Hatchuel's view, learning and organizational dynamics are tightly bound. Learning processes are hosted and supported by social relationships, which, in turn, are shaped by the distribution of knowledge. Hatchuel proposes a theory of collective action whereby knowledge and relationships are involved in a dynamic interplay: this theory shows that both markets and hierarchies are special and highly unstable forms of organization, because they imply that either knowledge or relationships are frozen. Management scholars contribute to the study of gener-ative forms of collective action: Hatchuel argues that management science, far from being applied economics or applied sociology, is a basic science devoted to the design and study of new models of collective action. He therefore opens up promising avenues for programs on post-decision paradigms and creative institutions.
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Blanche Segrestin, Franck Aggeri, Albert David, Pascal Le Masson. Armand Hatchuel and the Refoundation of Management Research: Design Theory and the Epistemology of Collective Action. David B. Szabla, William A. Pasmore, Mary A. Barnes, Asha N. Gipson. The Palgrave Handbook of Organizational Change Thinkers, 22, Springer, pp.1-15, 2017, 978-3-319-49820-1. ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-49820-1_80-1⟩. ⟨hal-01516296⟩



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