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Chapitre D'ouvrage Année : 2022

Corporate Work: A Category That Has Lost Its Managerial Foundations?

Blanche Segrestin


Corporate work has become the standard form of work: employees are managed and supervised by corporate officers who are themselves appointed by corporate members. In this chapter, we review the categorization process that has shaped the contemporary representation of corporate work to show some of its shortcomings and why it calls for reappraisal. We show the need to disentangle the historical rise of the corporation from the birth of modern management and labor law: the latter is only explicable if we take into account the eruption of scientific and technological development in the industrial context at the end of the nineteenth century. Industrial activities were no longer simply productive operations but emerged as creative activities. Managerial authority was therefore grounded in professional and scientific competence rather than in the ownership of corporate assets or in corporate law. But today the category of corporate work entails a conceptual shortcut as it links work to the corporation and neglects the role of management. We thus argue that the category of "corporate work" obscures the conditions under which employee subordination can be legitimate. This is why, given the impact of corporate activities today, we need to reappraise this category.

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Dates et versions

hal-03942658 , version 1 (17-01-2023)


  • HAL Id : hal-03942658 , version 1


Blanche Segrestin. Corporate Work: A Category That Has Lost Its Managerial Foundations?. Shifting Categories of Work. Unsettling the Ways We Think about Jobs, Labor, and Activities, Routledge, 2022, 9781032376622. ⟨hal-03942658⟩
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