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The Restructuring Axis PRINT

Scientific Project

Scientific Head : Géraldine Schmidt

The work of the restructuring axis arises from the contrast between the scale and variety of restructuring practice on the one hand, and the comparative rarity of academic works dedicated to restructuring on the other, with the result that this area of research is under-theorised.

Research conducted within this axis at GREGOR shares a common approach: questioning the legitimacy of decisions and restructuring practice; analysing the diversity of people concerned in restructuring, and the ways they interact; and examining restructuring decisions as the outcome of an evolutionary process.

Different research projects, completed or ongoing, focus on three aspects of restructuring: the initial decision (factors and motives, underlying reasons, imitative effects, etc.); the process of implementation (legal apparatus, collective bargaining, the role of different actors, the territorial aspect, etc.); and finally the outcomes (stock-exchange and economic performance, implications for individuals, especially the ‘survivors’, learning and skills, social responsibility, etc.). Several major theoretical frameworks are deployed to address these aspects: neo-institutional, stakeholder, negotiation and psychosociological theories. Methodological choices vary quantitatively and qualitatively.

 

Activities

The members of the restructuring axis take part in regular plenary sessions of GREGOR and also organise a series of specialised meetings on this theme, either as an element of collective contracted research or when a researcher from elsewhere is invited. In 2004 a Study Day was organised at the IAE, bringing together more than ten academic speakers and some 60 members of the public. This was followed by a round-table for restructuring specialists from the socio-economic sphere (human resources directors, consultants, lawyers, public sector actors, and so on and an audience of more than 200 people.

The team members take part in both national and international academic and professional networks. Two of them (R. Beaujolin and Géraldine Schmidt) co-ordinate a thematic research group at the heart of the AGRH which brings together several research teams from France and abroad. Since 2007 they have also conducted a specialist symposium within the European EURAM colloquium, with Ola Bergström of the University of Göteborg, and this serves to strengthen the international network. Participation in the MIRE project has contributed substantially to these academic and professional networks. The establishment in July 2008 of a research chair in Change, Anticipation and Innovation confirmed and institutionalised the close relations between this axis of research within GREGOR and its scientific and industrial partners in France and Europe. The originator and secretary general of this chair is Jean-Pierre Albert, former interministerial delegate for restructuring and part-time teacher at the Paris IAE since 2004. José Allouche and Géraldine Schmidt are in charge of the scientific programme.