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« Suivre des règles » dans les organisations

  • Bénédicte Reynaud

[eng] This article investigates how rules function. It draws on observations made between 1993 and 2000 in a workshop of the Paris Metro where a new pay rule had been introduced. It is shown, first, that, since rules are in themselves incomplete, a single rule should never be considered in isolation but rather as part of a set of rules. Each rule needs to be interpreted in the light not only of the information contained in other rules but also of custom and practice and context. Part 1 then examines how individuals in the workshop follow work rules. Observation of operatives at work shows that they translate these necessarily abstract rules into concrete reference points, interpretation of which gradually crystallizes and gives rise to repetitive working practices, that is the establishment of routines. These routines emerge as one of the ways - but by no means the only one - in which rules are followed. Part 2 seeks to shed light on the relationship between this notion of routine, grounded in observations, and that adopted in evolutionary theory. This leads, in Part 3, to the outline of a concept of the relationships between rules and routines, that is of the role of routines in managing the incompleteness of rules. Routines emerge as a means of stabilizing the interpretation of rules. [fre] Cet article s'appuie sur des observations faites entre 1993 et 2000 dans un Atelier de la RATP où une règle salariale a été instaurée, pour étudier les modes d'action des règles. Nous montrons d'abord qu'il ne faut jamais considérer une règle isolée, mais un ensemble de règles parce qu'elles sont incomplètes : chacune d'elles a besoin d'être interprétée en fonction de données contenues dans d'autres règles, mais aussi des usages et du contexte. Ensuite, nous étudions dans cet Atelier comment des individus suivent des règles de travail. C'est l'objet de la première partie. En observant les opérateurs travailler, nous percevons qu'ils traduisent ces règles, nécessairement abstraites, en des repères concrets dont l'interprétation se stabilise progressivement et conduit à une répétition des manières de travailler, désignées par le terme de routines. Ces dernières apparaissent comme l'une des façons - mais en aucun cas la seule - de suivre des règles. La seconde partie est consacrée à un éclaircissement du rapport entre la notion de routine à laquelle nous aboutissons et celle de la théorie évolutionniste. Ceci nous permet, dans la dernière partie, de présenter notre conception des rapports entre les règles et les routines, c'est-à-dire du rôle de ces dernières dans la gestion de l'incomplétude des règles : les routines apparaissent comme une stabilisation de l'interprétation des règles.

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Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Revue d'économie industrielle.

Volume (Year): 97 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 53-68

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Handle: RePEc:prs:recind:rei_0154-3229_2001_num_97_1_1799
Note: DOI:10.3406/rei.2001.1799
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