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Décisions risquées et organisations à risques : autonomie au travail et reconnaissance sociale dans la conduite d’une industrie de process

Abstract : This doctoral dissertation describes the running of a high-risk process industry,nuclear power plants, and the operators’ autonomy to apply technical procedures.The chosen procedures must fit the "real-life" situations, which are always new, andultimately unique. Nuclear power technology is so complex that ambiguous situations often arise. The operators have to make technical decisions that encompassall the demanding issues of high-risk industries : nuclear safety, plant availabilityand generation output, workers’ safety, environmental protection, etc.Operating a nuclear power plant thus involves trade-offs between theoretically compatible concerns that in practice are incompatible or difficult to reconcile.Each option in the actual decision will have advantages for certain criteria anddisadvantages for others. Deciding thus always means forgoing something, andtechnical decision-making in high-risk organizations forces the field workers totake professional and personal risks. The dissertation thus examines the factors explaining why operators are still interested in getting involved in the action.Self-interest and cultural theories cannot explain all the cases encountered in thefield (workers with high commitment but paradoxically little interest in career advancement, strong differences between individuals in a supposedly homogenoussocio-professional groups, etc.). The research focuses on social recognition andgift/countergift theories as the primary explanation for motivation and cooperation at work.
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Charles Stoessel. Décisions risquées et organisations à risques : autonomie au travail et reconnaissance sociale dans la conduite d’une industrie de process. Sociologie. Conservatoire national des arts et metiers - CNAM, 2010. Français. ⟨NNT : 2010CNAM0723⟩. ⟨tel-00557579⟩

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