Seminar Code Quantorg – Practices and Uses of Quantification within Organizations Archives (2017-2018)

Vincent-Arnaud Chappe (CSI-i3, CNRS, Mines ParisTech)

Marion Gilles (ANACT, Centre Max Weber)

Jean-Marie Pillon (IRISSO, Université Paris Dauphine)

The aim if the seminar is to open a forum for reflection on the multiplicity of quantified objects currently proliferating in private, public or non-profit organizations for the in order to question their construction and uses. Although accounting – and more generally quantification – are going as far back as the large private and public administrations (Carruthers and Espeland, 1991; Gardey, 2008), the contemporary period is characterized by the multiplication of objects of account. Equality, performance, quality, future, health, etc.: the figures are seized of many of the themes that for a long time were expressed with words (Chiapello and Gilbert, 2013). As an extension of the historical sociology of quantification, organizers and speakers propose in their turn to use these data to study how they contribute to the existence and (con)formity of the phenomena they claim to represent (Desrosières, 2008). The multiplicity of indicators used in the organizations will thus constitute the core of the discussions in this seminar and, through them, of their producers, users, advocates and opponents. We will thus focus on the construction and use of these indicators, the professional jurisdictions that they destabilize or contribute to consolidate, the skills or profiles they foster or exclude, the controversies that concern or mobilize them, their influence on organizational activity and the division of labour. The purpose will then be to understand how organizational or bureaucratic dynamics are, at least in part, an outcome of the practices that are built up around internal quantification devices and practices.

Venue: Mines ParisTech, 60 Boulevard Saint Michel, 75006 Paris, (RER B), Room Saint Jacques.

Seminar programme

Seminar programme in 2017

Seminar programme in 2018 »


Carruthers B.G., Espeland W.N., 1991, « Accounting for rationality: Double-entry bookkeeping and the rhetoric of economic rationality », American journal of Sociology, p. 31 69.

Chiapello È., Gilbert P., 2013, Sociologie des outils de gestion : introduction à l’analyse sociale de l’instrumentation de gestion, Paris, La Découverte.

Desrosières A., 2008, Pour une sociologie historique de la quantification, Paris, Presses de l’École des Mines.