From hell to heaven: the imaginary of work from yesterday to nowadays. The case of highly qualified young managers[Research paper] by F. Garcias


The author graduated from HEC Paris in 2009.

This thesis raises the question of the "imaginary of work", that is to say, the sense and value that we subjectively associate to this notion. A historical overview of different philosophical discourse delivered on the subject since antiquity allows initially us to affirm the historicity of the very idea of work, and even more of the contemporary judgments brought on its "reality". Main eras of Western history seem to have given birth to three types of relation to work: in antiquity, it was a Hell, in the medieval and Christian world, a purgatory, and for moderns, a paradise. We postulate that this triple heritage explains some axiological confusion nowadays surrounding the labor issue. But a number of reasons lead us to hypothesize that the most advanced forms of contemporary capitalism call for the development of a new "work ethic", approaching the ideal of "work as paradise". Is looking for this new ethos, to use the terminology of Max Weber, that we leave in the empirical part of this thesis, which attempts to answer the following question: do executives live their work as a purgatory, that is to say, as a mainly negative mediation leading to a mainly positive horizon? Or as a paradise, an immediate promise of happiness?

Quote article  F. Garcias, « From hell to heaven: the imaginary of work from yesterday to nowadays. The case of highly qualified young managers », 19 december 2009, Alternative Management Observatory (AMO), [Research paper]

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