The American Sociologist

, Volume 48, Issue 3–4, pp 504–522 | Cite as

Being a Corporate Sociologist…an Insider’s View

  • Hélène Jeannin


This paper is aimed at giving light to the profession of corporate sociologist, based on a literary review of the field of scientific and occupational sociology. It is an empirical observation based on an inside look gained as a professional sociologist within an international Group in the telecommunications sector, O range. It defends the idea that it remains possible, despite the financial strains afflicting many companies engaged in a competitive global market, to explore new topics and thus bring a significant contribution to this discipline, especially since the industry has specific resources to offer, leading to a widened reflection regarding the status of researcher. This is by reusing notions specific to the norms of science while examining them in a corporate context. The article is written in the hopes of making a constructive contribution to the question of relating the worlds of industry, sociology and, more generally – science. As a matter of fact, although industrial science represents the largest share of the total science in France (over 60% of researchers work in the industry) – the complexity of the issues they face as well as their characteristics still needs to be documented and debated.


Corporate sociologist Professional social scientist Orange Telecommunications Industrial science Research in industry 


  1. Abbott, A. (1988). The system of professions. An essay on the division of expert labor. Chicago: The university of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  2. Allen, T., & Katz, R. (1986). The dual ladder: Motivational solution or managerial delusion? R&D Management, 16(2), 185–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Allen, T., & Katz, R. (2004). Managing dual ladder systems in RD&E Settings. In R. Katz (Ed.), The Human side of managing technological innovations: A collection of readings (pp. 545–559). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Alter, N. (2002). Les logiques de l'innovation. Paris: La Découverte.Google Scholar
  5. Bourdieu, P. (1979). Le paradoxe du sociologue. Sociologie et sociétés, 11(1), 85–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Corre, Y. (8 juillet 2016). Une prise de conscience. Le Télégramme. Retrieved 12 April 2017, from
  7. Cotgrove, S., & Box, S. (1970). Science, industry and society. George Allen & Unwin Ltd: Studies in the Sociology of Science. London.Google Scholar
  8. Davis, J. (1961). Great books and small groups. New-York: Free Press of Glencoe.Google Scholar
  9. Delestre, S. (26 October 2015). Retrieved 14 August 2016, from Oui, les français aiment leurs entreprises!:
  10. Direction de l’Evaluation, de la Prospective et de la Performance (DEPP). (2015). Repères & Références statistiques. Enseignements, Formatipon, Recherche. Paris: Ministère de l’Éducation nationale, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche.Google Scholar
  11. Gilmore, J., & Pine II, B. (2011). The experience economy (Updated ed.). Harvard: Harvard Business Review Press.Google Scholar
  12. Gomez, P.-Y. (2013). Le travail invisible. Paris: François Bourin Editeur.Google Scholar
  13. Gouldner, A. (1959). Reciprocity and autonomy in functional theory. In L. Gross (Ed.), Symposium on Sociological Theory (pp. 241–270). New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  14. Halbwachs, M. (1997 [1st edition 1950]). La mémoire collective. Paris: Albin Michel.Google Scholar
  15. Illouz, E. (2007). Cold intimacies: The making of emotional capitalism. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  16. Jeannin, H., & Riche, L. (December 2015). La qualité de vie au travail au coeur de la négociation collective: l'exemple d'Orange. Négocier le travail pour le transformer, enjeux et perspectives d’une innovation sociale, Revue de l'ANACT n° 3, pp. 56-65.Google Scholar
  17. Katz, R. (November/December 2005). Motivating technical professionals today. Research-Technology Management, 48(6), 19–27.Google Scholar
  18. Kornhauser, W. (1962). Scientists in industry: Conflict and accommodation. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  19. Le Ru, N., & Perrain, L. (2013). Chercheures-chercheurs : des stéréotypes de genre dès les formations, Note d’information Enseignement supérieur & Recherche 13.03. Paris: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES Scholar
  20. Lubart, T. A. (2009). « Entretien avec Todd Lubart », interview by J. Aden and E. Piccardo. Synergies Europe, n° 4., 15–22.Google Scholar
  21. Morin, E. (1982). Science avec conscience. Paris: Fayard.Google Scholar
  22. Musso, P., Coiffier, S., & Lucas, J.-F. (2015). Pour innover : modéliser l'imaginaire. Paris: Manucius. Collection Modélisation des imaginaires.Google Scholar
  23. Ness, R. B. (2015). The creativity crisis. Reinventing science to unleash possibility. New-York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Parker, J. N., & Hackett, E. J. (2012). Hot spots and hot moments in scientific collaborations and social movements. American Sociological Review, 77(1), 21–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Perrain, L. (2016). Les chercheurs en entreprise en 2013, Note d'information (Enseignement supérieur & Recherche16.05 juillet. MENESR DGESIP/DGRI-SCSESR-SIES, Paris.
  26. Sennett, R. (1977). The fall of the public man. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. doi: 10.1177/030981688703100112.Google Scholar
  27. Whitley, R. (1984). The intellectual and social Organization of the Sciences. Oxford, New-York: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Orange Labs, Department of Sociology and Economics of Networks and Services Châtillon CedexFrance

Personalised recommendations