CE26 - Innovation, travail

Professionals of the virtue of capitalism: corporate social responsibility through the lens of its managers – ProVirCap

Submission summary

The institutionalization of programs that signal corporate virtue, usually placed under the heading of “Corporate social responsibility”, is a central feature of the contemporary mutations of capitalism. While most studies focus on CSR discourse and devices, this project offers an innovative take on « responsible capitalism », by placing the lens on its managers, their work activities and their professional milieus. Through its focus on CSR professionals, the ProVirCap project pursues a triple theoretical ambition: 1/ to shed light on the reconfiguration of the borders between the market, the state, and civil society; 2/ to understand the transformations of professionalism in global companies; 3/ and to examine the ways in which gender shapes the virtuous face of capitalism. Carried out by a team of nine researchers renowned for their expertise on various management fields associated with CSR, the project will benefit from the cross-fertilization of several analytical perspectives: sociology of work, professions and organizations, economic sociology, political science, management studies, as well as gender studies. The research design combines qualitative (in-depth interviews, observations) and quantitative methods (CV scraping, questionnaire survey), and relies on a double comparison: between management fields associated with CSR (sustainable development, responsible investment, diversity and work quality, human rights, corporate giving, ethics) and between national cases (France, USA, Spain). The close dialogue with an international, interdisciplinary expert committee will anchor the project in a transnational field of research on responsible capitalism. The dissemination of the results among professionals of the sector, beyond academic circles, will help promote social sciences in a field that is particularly receptive to exchanges with academia, and contribute to the reflection around the transformation of capitalism – an issue that, against the background of the Covid-19 crisis, appears ever more vital for contemporary societies.

Project coordination

Laure Bereni (Centre Maurice Halbwachs)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


CLERSE Centre lillois d'études et de recherches sociologiques et économiques
IRISSO Institut de recherche Interdisciplinaire en Sociologie, Economie et Science Politique (IRISSO)
LISIS Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences, Innovations, Sociétés
CSO Centre de sociologie des organisations
IDHES - Institutions et Dynamiques Historiques de l'Economie et de la Société
DRM Dauphine Recherches en Management
CMH Centre Maurice Halbwachs

Help of the ANR 351,144 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: April 2021 - 48 Months

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