2023-2024 / SOCI0060-1

Sociology of organized action


30h Th, 15h Lect.

Number of credits

 Master in political sciences : general (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in political sciences : general (60 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in sociology, professional focus in Immigration Studies (Liege - Barcelone: joint-degree programme)6 crédits 
 Master in human resources management (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in human resources management (120 ECTS) (Management)5 crédits 
 Master in human resources management (120 ECTS) (Management of organisational systems in transition)5 crédits 
 Master in sociology (120 ECTS)6 crédits 
 Master in labour sciences (120 ECTS)6 crédits 
 Extra courses intended for exchange students (Erasmus, ...) (Faculty of social sciences)6 crédits 


Christophe Dubois

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Through the reading of scientific articles and the analysis of case studies, this course aims to provide students with a reading grid and methodological and conceptual tools enabling them to question, describe and understand collective action situations (work contexts in their organisational, market, political and professional dimensions) that they observe and will encounter in their professional lives.

Among the key concepts in the sociology of collective action are those of local orders, strategies, rules of the game, regulation, sensemaking, translation, (de)commodification, instruments, devices, norms and so on. With the help of these concepts, students will be able to give an account of the actors, practices, interactions and their foundations through a detailed diagnosis.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of the course, students will be able to

- Conduct a case study by mastering the methodological, analytical and theoretical tools needed to carry out a detailed diagnosis in a context of collective action.

- Combine knowledge of the sociology of organisations, public action and markets to create a relevant methodological and analytical framework.

- Encourage collaboration within a group with a view to achieving certain goals.

- Conduct research in a number of relevant English and French scientific journals (Sociologie du travail, Organisation Studies, Human Relations, Work, Employment and Society, etc.).

- Read and use English and French scientific articles.

- Discuss these scientific articles collectively.

- Write a working paper consisting of an organisational diagnosis.

- Give an oral presentation of a reading summary.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills


Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The subjects covered during the course fall into three categories (provisional programme):

  • lectures based on scientific articles and case studies, followed by discussions of key concepts in the sociology of organised action;
  • readings from the portfolio of texts, followed by presentations of key concepts such as sensemaking, intermediate objects, instruments of public action, networking, etc.
  • work in sub-groups to apply the methodology of case diagnosis and resolution

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

Classroom teaching

Recommended or required readings

Reading material available on MyUliege, inluding:

  • Compulsory readings (scientific articles);
  • Presentation of empirical cases;
  • PowerPoint presentations.
  Reference books:

  • Czarniawska, B. (2008) A theory of Organizing, Edward Elgar
  • Crozier, M., & Friedberg, E. (1992). L'acteur et le système: les contraintes de l'action collective. Éd. du Seuil.
  • Friedberg, E. (1988). L'analyse sociologique des organisations. POUR.
  • Friedberg, E. (1997). Le pouvoir et la règle: dynamiques de l'action organisée. Éd. du Seuil.
  • Weick, K. (1995). Sense-making in organisations. SAGE Publications.
  • Barthélémy, F. (2011). Sociologie de l'action organisée. Nouvelles études de cas. Editions De Boeck, Bruxelles.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire, open-ended questions )

Additional information:

Any session :

- In-person

written exam ( open-ended questions )

- Remote

written exam ( open-ended questions )

- If evaluation in "hybrid"

preferred in-person

Additional information:

Final exam (key theoretical concepts and organisational diagnosis)

Second session: QCM or oral examination

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

The list of the scientific articles that will be presented and discussed through the course is available on myuliège



Association of one or more MOOCs