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Nicolas Bencherki

Nicolas Bencherki
Université TÉLUQ · Sciences humaines, lettres et communication

PhD

About

60
Publications
40,823
Reads
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464
Citations
Introduction
I use ethnographic methods to study organizational communication in community-based organizations. I am particularly interested in the way community workers and volunteers discursively and materially constitute their organization, with a special focus on strategy-making and on the role of property in sharing action between individuals and organizations.
Additional affiliations
September 2017 - present
Télé-université
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
September 2013 - August 2017
University at Albany, The State University of New York
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
September 2012 - May 2013
Polytechnic Institute of New York University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
September 2007 - August 2011
Sciences Po Paris
Field of study
  • Sociology of action
September 2007 - August 2011
Université de Montréal
Field of study
  • Communication

Publications

Publications (60)
Technical Report
Full-text available
La recherche que nous avons menée s’est initialement penchée sur les façons dont les organisations communautaires pouvaient mobiliser davantage leurs bénévoles : en convaincre plus de donner de leur temps, mais aussi de s’impliquer sous des formes différentes. Cela dit, alors que nous menions ce projet, nous nous sommes rendu.e.s compte que, pour r...
Article
Full-text available
Organization and management are the perpetual, and perpetually fraught and resisted, ordering of sense experience. However, banning the senses into the outside of thought, and of organizational analysis, was – and to a large degree still is – the default and mostly implicit and unquestioned mode of thinking and studying organization and management....
Technical Report
Full-text available
Cette recherche, menée par Coline Sénac (UQAM), Nicolas Bencherki (TÉLUQ) et Consuelo Vásquez (UQAM), consiste à collecter les expériences d'injustice et de discrimination vécues par des bénévoles et des citoyen-ne-s engagé-e-s dans les milieux de l'implication bénévole et citoyenne au Québec. L’objectif de cette étude est d'identifier les différe...
Chapter
Full-text available
There is a growing acknowledgement that organizations comprise a plurality of concerns and interests. Among community-based organizations, such plurality has been studied as so many tensions that impede work and that must be resolved. In contrast to such a view, we adopt the posture that the multiplicity of voices is something that organizational m...
Chapter
Full-text available
While speaking is often contrasted with writing, this chapter considers that ambiguity between the two modalities confers to speaking its ability to affect organizing. The chapter conceptually discusses how these modalities have been distinguished, including by considering speaking as a human prerogative and writing as a derivative, and suggests th...
Article
Full-text available
On January 24, 2017, the Trump administration tried to censor various science-related federal agencies, most notably, the National Park Service. This case study presents the emergence of "alternative" National Park Service Twitter accounts that subverted the ban and explores how "rogue rangers" share in and resist organizational authority through c...
Article
Full-text available
Au cours des dernières années, plusieurs chercheurs et chercheuses en communication organisationnelle ont mis de l’avant un ensemble d’approches proposant une vision constitutive de la communication (Brummans et al., Putnam et Nicotera, Taylor et Robichaud). Ces approches ont été fédérées sous l’appellation « communication constitutive des organisa...
Chapter
Full-text available
Why are visual methods, and in particular video methods, so naturally associated with the study of space in organizational studies? This chapter suggests that this relationship has to do with both video and space having been shown to be relational phenomena. Combining work in relational studies of space with French philosopher Gilles Deleuze’s writ...
Article
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John Durham Peters, professeur d’anglais et d’études cinématographiques et médiatiques à l’université Yale, est connu pour ses travaux sur l’histoire des médias et de la communication. Son premier livre, Speaking into the air: A history of the idea of communication, a connu un succès mondial grâce à son regard transdisciplinaire sur la soif de l’hu...
Article
Full-text available
Different perspectives on organizations have alternatively sorted them on the side of the social / human / linguistic or that of the material / non-human / technical, reducing the question of what an organization may be to attempts to (re)connect these two realms. Literature adopting a relational view, however, has offered a way out of this opposit...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Cette recherche, menée par Coline Sénac (UQAM), Nicolas Bencherki (TÉLUQ) et Consuelo Vásquez (UQAM), consiste à cartographier les pratiques du bénévolat dans la région de Montréal et des alentours. L’étude a permis d’analyser le positionnement des acteurs impliqués dans les réseaux de bénévolat montréalais. L’objectif de cette étude est de propos...
Article
Full-text available
Bien que le lien entre organisation, culture et communication soit établi de longue date, de façon surprenante, hormis quelques exceptions, peu de chercheurs semblent avoir étudié la culture organisationnelle en train de se re-produire, à partir d’une perspective résolument communicationnelle. La plupart des études qui ont tenté de le faire se sont...
Article
Full-text available
Communication scholars, especially in organizational communication, call for a consti-tutive approach to communication that considers communicating and organizing as a single process. Yet, current theorizing seems unable to embrace that equivalence. As an alternative, we present an informationally grounded view of communication, drawing from French...
Article
Full-text available
This article contributes to the discursive and interactional study of strategizing by drawing attention to the communicative practices through which strategy progressively materializes itself. Drawing on the interactions between the partners and members of a community-based organization participating in a strategic planning exercise, our study rev...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores the collective practices through which ethics is handled at the humanitarian aid organization Doctors Without Borders. As an international nongovernmental organization operating in 72 countries, many times facing extreme contexts and yet able to uphold its ethical standards, we consider that studying the practical achievement...
Chapter
Full-text available
Bencherki, N., Bourgoin, A., Chen, H.-R., Cooren, F., Denault, V., & Plusquellec, P. (2019). Bodies, faces, physical space, and the materializations of authority. In N. Bencherki, F. Matte & F. Cooren (Eds.), Authority and power in social interaction: Methods and analysis (pp. 77-98). Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.
Article
This symposium embraced the premise that organizing and spaces are intrinsically interconnected and that to adequately study management and organization phenomena, researchers must take organizational spaces into consideration. Organizational spaces are the various physical and virtual locales that operate as sites for organizational actions and in...
Chapter
Full-text available
This book takes as a starting point a polemical assertion: that current literature on authority and power does not, in fact, specifically observe authority or power. This is not to say that the literature is wrong. Existing perspectives are quite correct when they provide insight on the way income, gender or racial differences are perpetuated (e.g....
Article
Full-text available
As work and organizational reality become increasingly “post-bureaucratic,” the conventional and stable bases of a person’s authority—their position, their expertise, or the acquiescence of a subordinate—are eroding. This evolution calls us to revise our understanding of authority, and to consider more deeply how it is achieved in contexts that are...
Preprint
Full-text available
Open Strategy, both as a set of processes and practices, and as an emerging academic field, "promises increased transparency and inclusion regarding strategic issues, engaging both internal and external stakeholders" (Hautz et al., 2017: 298; see also Whittington et al., 2011). Open contexts, by involving greater transparency and inclusiveness, str...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapters proposes to reverse the conventional assumption regarding research methods, according to which researchers follow their object of study. When studying an organization, researchers must let themselves be followed – we voluntarily use the passive voice – and make their body available as a surface where different principles, artefacts, s...
Article
Full-text available
Anchored in a ‘communication as constitutive of organization’ approach, this article aims to develop a theoretical framework for understanding the performativity of strategy through an organizational lens. We define the performativity of any form of knowledge as a communicational praxis, involving theories or ideas, actors and texts, through which...
Article
Full-text available
Where do new organizations come from, and how do they persist? Based on an ethnographic study of two creative hubs in Amsterdam, in which creative independent workers rented studio space, we show how space plays a role in constituting new organizations and making them last. Focusing on challenging moments in the development of these two creative hu...
Article
Full-text available
In this interview, Anita Pomerantz and Robert E. Sanders, professors emeriti at the University at Albany, SUNY’s department of communication, discuss their views on conducting language and social interaction (LSI) research. They share their understanding of the connection between LSI research and the discipline of communication, and explain what we...
Article
Full-text available
Writing objects/Letting the objects write themselves Calls are multiplying for qualitative researchers to ‘position’ their knowledge. They are invited to exercise more reflexivity (Harding, 1991 ; Rose, 1997). Positionality is presented as an ethical imperative, guarding the researcher against the temptation to impose their own categories or forms...
Article
Full-text available
As researchers and consultants, we’ve spent the last few years helping a dozen major public and private organizations understand what went wrong with their strategic planning. We discovered that executives have a hard time doing strategy because they are at a loss when the time comes to engage in strategic dialogue. Either their teams debate the or...
Article
Full-text available
While organization studies and sociology have put considerable effort in attempting to explicate the way individual and organizational action are related, this paper proposes to borrow from the insights of French philosopher Gilbert Simondon, and to begin with action first by thinking of it as pre-individual, i.e. logically prior to any individual....
Article
Full-text available
Property is pervasive, and yet we organization scholars rarely discuss it. When we do, we think of it as a black-boxed concept to explain other phenomena, rather than studying it in its own right. This may be because organization scholars tend to limit their understanding of property to its legal definition, and emphasize control and exclusion as i...
Conference Paper
Using the case of Dongguan (or Guan), known for a long time as China’s sin city, we present different communicative strategies used by businesses in the sex industry to gain legitimacy. We show that legitimation is not solely based on discursive practices, as current literature suggests, but also on other forms of communicative practices such as cl...
Chapter
Full-text available
Actor–network theory (ANT) began at the end of the 1970s as an attempt to account for scientific activity without distinguishing a priori between its so-called social and technical aspects. The concept of actor–network captures the idea that for any actor to act, many others must act as well. In other words, action is shared with a multitude of peo...
Conference Paper
Organizational creativity literature has overlooked the body as one of the loci of creativity and has focused on its cognitive accomplishment. This has prevented a sustained engagement of communication studies with the notion of creativity, and for the most part reduced the role of communication to the sharing of allegedly creative ideas. We would...
Chapter
Full-text available
The relationship between communication and action and agency is discussed. Crucial themes pertaining to action are presented in their intersection with communication. The question of intentionality is contrasted with the pragmatic view of communication. The role communication plays in providing alternative descriptions of action is also discussed,...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we suggest that the Montreal School (TMS) tradition of organizational communication offers a fruitful analytical framework that allows us to better take into account the way people practically deal with plurilingual situations as they go on with their daily activities and contribute to shaping their organizations. We identify six cor...
Article
Full-text available
While organisational communication research has traditionally limited talk to human beings, a trend within the Montreal School (TMS) of the Communicational Constitution of Organizations (CCO) perspective acknowledges that ‘things do things with words’ as well, and criticises the ‘bifurcation of nature’ into two distinct realms: materiality and disc...
Article
Full-text available
Organizational communication theory and research tends to assume the practices of organizational “members” are relevant to the study of organizational phenomena, without reflecting on how those members were identified in the first place. This issue is particularly relevant to perspectives that view communication as constitutive of organizations bec...
Article
Full-text available
The rise of modern corporations has been accompanied by an expansion of salaried executives who have replaced owner-managers. With this expansion, the new class of managers/executives came to regard themselves as stewards of large and complex corporations, and not principally or exclusively as agents for the owners. Emerging as a self- styled ‘prof...
Article
Full-text available
This text suggests that adopting a particular version of affect theories, which are still lacking recognition in organizational communication, allows overcoming the dilemma of organizational action – is it the individual or the organization that’s acting – not by resolving it, but by allowing a totally different understanding of the constitution an...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter develops a communicational approach to strategy and strategy-making as an attempt to dialogue with the Strategy-as-Practice literature and its latest development on talk and text. Based on a “communicative constitution of organization” approach (CCO), it provides a conceptual framework to define strategy-making as a series of communica...
Chapter
Full-text available
Ce texte présente l’ethnométhodologie, approche développée par le socio-logue américain Harold Garfinkel au courant des années 60, telle qu’elle a été reprise par un courant de la communication organisationnelle appelé École de Montréal. Celle-ci a été initiée par James R. Taylor à l’Université de Montréal et compte parmi ses figures de proue un gr...
Chapter
Writing a bibliographical article on the topic of the philosophy of communication is not an easy task. The works that have been written under that umbrella range from critical assessments of media to discussions of public debate. “Philosophy of communication” combines two ambiguous disciplines, philosophy and communication. Communication is commonl...
Article
In this paper, we propose Wittgenstein’s concept of language game as a theoretical lens for analyzing organizational culture. Language games understood as “forms of life” emerge through the discourse and actions of organizational actors . The concept of language game offers a holistic lens, which highlights the multiplicity of sub-cultures, while a...
Article
Full-text available
This paper discusses how authority is concretely performed through interaction, and how this performance contributes to the constitution of organizational boundaries. Through the case of a six-month consultancy assignment at a large French energy group, we show how authority is established, challenged and reaffirmed as everyday work unfolds. Rather...
Article
Full-text available
How does an organization act? Can it be considered an actor on its own or does it need organizational members who act on its behalf? We would like to suggest our own take on the issue by suggesting a genuinely communicative approach to the issue of organizational action. Using the narratology of AJ Greimas to make apparent in talk some of process p...
Article
Full-text available
Existant literature on organizational action is hazy with respect to the precise way an organization may act. It tends to vacillate between the affirmation that the organization acts by itself and a reduction of organizational action to that of its members. In both cases, the organization is already presumed. I suggest here a properly communication...
Article
Full-text available
Penser l'organisation doit se faire sur le mode de la relation plutôt que celui de la substance : chercher à comprendre ce qui compose l'organisation - discours, matière, humains, ... - ne peut être une démarche productive puisque l'organisation est hybride et inclut tous ces éléments. C'est donc la manière dont ces éléments se combinent qui sont d...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
“Volunteering on the Move” (VOTM) is a collaborative research project about the transformation of volunteering practices conducted by a group of organizational communication researchers. To carry out this project, the members of the research team, who work in four different Canadian universities, collaborate extensively with non-profit organizations (NPOs). The research team received a grant from the Insight Program of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) in 2017. https://volunteeringonthemove.uqam.ca/
Archived project
Through this project, we combine ethnography and action research to both support strategy-making in community-based organizations, and to learn from our observations the way strategy takes particular forms in the context of non-profit and grassroots organizations. These groups are often faced with a dearth of resources and must continuously fight for their survival and to carry out their mission. They do so, among others, by teaming up with partner organizations on collaborative projects. This entails that strategy-making cannot be understood as taking place within a single organization, which raises questions about membership, boundaries, participation, etc.
Archived project
This long-term project tries to explore the notions of property, possession, and their related vocabulary (attribution, appropriation, dispossession, etc.), using what Didier Debaise calls the "philosophy of possession", to study the way action circulates from people to things to organizations. This allows accounting for organizational constitution and action, but also for membership and more broadly the organization - member link.