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Date / Heure
Date(s) - 22 août 2019
12 h 15 min - 14 h 00 min

Michel Anteby
Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior
Boston University,
Questrom School of Business

Date: Jeudi 22 août 2019
Heure: 12h15-14h
Lieu: HEC Montréal
Salle: Marie-Husny (1er étage, section verte)


Conférence donnée en anglais
Presentation in English
Apportez votre lunch, café et jus seront servis!



Expertise is central to today’s knowledge economy. Yet as experts increasingly move between work contexts, the translation of expertise across distinct contexts remains less understood. Building on a relational view of expertise, we examine how changes in work configurations—here, relational disconnects between experts and their core audience—might affect the nature of expertise. Through an inductive study of U.S. puppeteers’ move from “stage” to “screen” (e.g., film and television), we show that while all puppeteers drew on a comparable basic repertoire of skills to perform, puppeteers in stage relied heavily on audience interactions to establish their expertise. By contrast, puppeteers in screen (no longer connected to their core audience) established their expertise by showcasing their technical proficiency. The latter understanding of expertise as a readily-accessible proficiency was also reinforced by the nature of work patterns – from experimenting in smaller productions to coordinating efficiently with others in larger ones – and associated with a critical shift in learning practices – from learning from audience-feedback to learning by repeatedly training often alone. As puppeteers’ labor market shifted and puppeteers came to perform more work disconnected from their core audience, the nature of expertise shifted as well. Overall, we argue that expertise should not be viewed as a static set of knowledge that people carry with them from job to job and that novel work configurations can gradually shape the essence of expertise. We discuss implications of these findings for expert work in organizations and beyond.


Author’s bio

Michel Anteby is an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business and (by courtesy) Sociology at Boston University’s College of Arts and Sciences. Prior to joining BU, Michel taught in master, doctoral, and executive programs at the Harvard Business School and the Yale School of Management. His research looks at how individuals relate to their work, their occupations, and the organizations they belong to. He examines more specifically the practices people engage in at work that help them sustain their chosen cultures or identities. In doing so, his research contributes to a better understanding of how these cultures and identities come to be and manifest themselves. Empirical settings for these and other inquiries have included airport security officers, clinical anatomists, factory craftsmen, ghostwriters, and university professors. Michel’s research has appeared in journals such as Administrative Science QuarterlyEthnographyOrganization ScienceSocial Science & Medicine, and Social Forces. He also is the author of two monographs: an ethnography of the Harvard Business School titled Manufacturing Morals: The Values of Silence in Business School Education (also available in French and Chinese) and a study of illegal factory production titled Moral Gray Zones: Side Productions, Identity, and Regulation in an Aeronautics Plant. His work was recognized by BU’s Slatkin Family Fund award, NYU’s Herman E. Krooss award and the David M. Graifman Memorial award. He also is a recipient of the Donald & Valerie Ruth Honerkamp fellowship, a Susilo fellowship, and a Marvin Bower fellowship. Michel earned a joint Ph.D. in management from New York University and in sociology from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, Paris). He holds a M.A. in economics from the Sorbonne and a M.P.A. from Harvard. After growing up in France and previously working there as a consultant (focusing on labor issues), he remains affiliated as a Research Fellow with the Centre de Sociologie des Organisations in Paris.


Cette conférence est organisée conjointement par le GéPS et la Chaire en gestion stratégique en contexte pluraliste.