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Paris 2022 RESER conference call for papers

The 32nd Conference of the European Association for REsearch on SERvices (RESER), which is going to be held in Paris, is a great opportunity to lay the foundations of a research programme aimed at shedding light on the conditions of emergence and dissemination of service science.

Indeed, the presence of a large number of recognised researchers, around the presentation of the encyclopedia of services produced under the responsibility of Faiz Gallouj and several former presidents of the RESER, will allow for the presentation of some testimonies and nourished debates on these various subjects.

Thanks to the enthusiastic partnership of GPS (Groupement des Professions de Services, gps.asso.fr) the first day of our conference will welcome company directors and organisations representing service activities. As they are deeply concerned by the publication of the encyclopedia, exchanges of experience will be organised and questions will be asked about strategic entrepreneurial or economic policy positions, during 3 round tables.

The themes of the round tables will focus on organizational innovation in service activities, the needs for city services, the renewal of logistical issues. The round tables will be composed of 4 speakers: a moderator, a business manager, a young researcher and a senior researcher chosen among the encyclopedia writers. Two major witnesses (RESER researchers) will shed light on the issue of international trade in services and the economy of functionality. The conclusion will be entrusted to a professional manager.

Such a meeting prompted RESER to propose to focus the second day of this conference on the challenge linked to the construction of new services compulsory for a more inclusive society. 5 tracks are proposed to the researchers. The urban services challenge needs to enlarge our data bases on a local dimension, and at the same time to renew concepts and models using a European path as we did during the last decades. Looking back on the emergence of the service research field could also reinforce the interest for multidisciplinary exchanges.

This second day will be welcome by the Gustave Eiffel university, Marne La Vallée (access by metro RER from Paris) and under the responsibility of the “Institut de recherche en gestion”. The European Association for REsearch on SERvices (RESER) is an association that has been bringing together researchers and practitioners (from public decision makers to business managers) for more than 30 years and actively participates in the dissemination of service science through the organisation of a congress held each year in a different European university or research institute. This field of research, more characterised by its field of application (services) than by its disciplinary inclusion, appeared at the beginning of the 1980s, even if the J. Fourastié’s works (1949) were precursor. For a long time contested by the ‘industrialists’, it now attracts researchers from all countries who take the measure of its entrepreneurial dynamics and its complexity in international exchanges.

It is interesting for this group of researchers to retrace the conditions of emergence of this field, which was characterised, from the outset, by its interdisciplinarity at the crossroads of reflections on economics (and particularly the whole debate on productivity and innovation, sociology with the transformation of social relations at work and the specificities of the service relationship, economic and urban geography (and, finally, management, particularly around the characteristics of marketing and service production.

Initially constructed as an heterodox thinking, questioning the doxa of a liberal economy based on industry, the first scientific studies were based on detailed observations and analyses of the functioning of the tertiary sector, such as Levitt’s original work on Mcdonald’s, Bitner’s on Weight Watchers, or Eiglier and Langeard’s on the tourism sector and the Accor company. There was from the outset a strong link with the economic, social and cultural environment of the countries in which this initial research was conducted. The development of ICT in the 1980s and the revolution of the Internet in the 1990s brought new potential to service activities. The question of innovation in this sector has given rise to deep exchanges within the research teams. It is therefore interesting to trace the history of this early work, the conditions of its emergence and the novelties that challenge certain research teams.

It is essential to look back at the history of the constitution of this unique network, the values on which it is based and the way in which it was able to support research initially carried out by outsiders, on the fringe of the concerns supported by most national research institutions. These researchers have contributed to the institutionalisation of this field of research by finding collaborators in European institutions and in relationships with service companies. The places and institutions within which this research tradition was built are also interesting in order to understand how, where and in which fields of expertise – both disciplinary and sectoral – this research was built in each European country.

The current concerns about the material organisation of the production of services, due to the development of digital exchanges and the internationalisation of value chains, are giving rise to new  issues and a renewal of managerial thinking specifically oriented towards this sector of activity, whose relative weight is increasing in all countries.

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Deuxième Journée d’histoire de la pensée managériale 17 juin 2022

Organisée à la suite des articles de Poivret (2017, 2018), du premier tome d’Homo Gestor de Luc Marco (2018), et du numéro spécial de la RIPCO consacré à ce thème (2020), la journée du 18 juin dernier a été un succès. Nous souhaitons donc désormais rendre cet événement récurrent, le deuxième ou le troisième vendredi de juin de chaque année, avec toujours le même objectif : créer et consolider une communauté de recherche.
Les conditions actuelles nous permettent raisonnablement de prévoir une tenue des échanges en présentiel, sur le site de l’Université Gustave Eiffel à Champs-sur-Marne. Une possibilité de suivre les présentations à distance sera toutefois être ouverte, afin de toucher un maximum de personnes.
Le Professeur Yvon Pesqueux reviendra, dans la conférence introductrice, sur son parcours académique, et présentera son ouvrage (à paraitre) Réfléchir – De l’importance de la tâche réflexive en sciences de gestion.
Il convient de préciser le type de travaux attendus dans cette journée : ceux-ci devront concerner l’histoire de la pensée managériale (HPM dans ce qui suivra), et de préférence, francophone. Précisons d’abord ce que nous entendons par travaux d’HPM : selon nous, cette discipline consiste en l’analyse d’ouvrages, de revues, d’articles, plus ou moins récents[1], de « gestion » au sens large du terme[2] ; l’analyse cherchant en fait à remettre ces travaux « dans leur contexte », à les comparer à d’autres plus ou moins récents, à en faire aussi la généalogie au sens foucaldien. Aussi, l’analyse des institutions portant ces travaux (Universités, écoles de commerce, cabinets de conseil principalement, même s’il ne faut pas oublier les Universités d’entreprises, comme l’ont montré Philippe et Sorreda, 2020), fait partie de l’HPM.

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[1]                     On peut remonter à la création de la comptabilité en partie double, soit en 1494.

[2]              La pensée managériale peut être définie comme « les savoirs, publiés sous forme d’article ou de livre, pouvant aider à gérer une activité », ou « L’ensemble des idées théoriques et pratiques relatives à l’agencement, à la direction, et à l’administration des entreprises ou organisations publiques et privées en activité » (Marco, 1993).