Abstract

[Ébarbeur : Travail sur les ébarbeuses de la fonderie mécanisée] – Archives de Mulhouse

Over five million workers are employed in unskilled jobs in France. At the core of socio-productive challenges, they need to cope with environmental changes. However, the ways of building professional pathways are far from certain while they are facing the challenge of taking their own career in hand. This injunction led simultaneously by the policy-making level and management practices is one of the keys to making workers’ career paths more secure and firms more efficient.

Our project aims to examine whether or not the conditions provided by firms allow employees to enhance the real capability for professional development and to take their own career in hand.

To address this set of questions, it develops an innovative line of research combining a capability approach, a clinical sociology approach and management tools-based approach. The originality of the project lies in the combination of a quantitative longitudinal linked employer-employee survey – The Training and Employee Trajectory Surveys (DEFIS) –  a qualitative inquiry in four lines of business (logistics sector, home-care sector, chemical sector and agri-food sector) and intervention research as a specific way of producing knowledge. By the interplay of these three methodological frameworks, SQUAPIN aims to develop an innovative research perspective.

The approach offers both a cross-cutting perspective since the various sectors are contrasted and a compared approach as the research intends to analyse the power to act of workers in low-skilled jobs in relation to that in skilled-jobs. Because power of act does not result from strictly individual inclinations but are shaped by interactions with the environment and the possibilities the latter provides, the research includes three complementary perspectives: institutional, organizational and biographical. As a consequence, it questions at different scales policies and practices that underpin the call to become “active player of her/his professional pathway”.


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