Co-constructing Organizational Autopoiesis: The Developmental Laboratory as a Model and Means of Enabling Interventions

  • Gianna Carta
  • Pierre Falzon
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 821)


This paper presents a model for an ergonomic intervention with developmental and autopoietic aims. It is based on the organizational change of an entity in charge of the signalling devices maintenance for the Parisian subway. Its developmental goal is to empower actors to redesign their work processes in an enabling, autonomous and sustainable way based on the emerging needs of a cross-functional activity that is to be imagined. The intervention was conceived and equipped as a formative process. The methodology put in place is called the “Developmental Laboratory” (DL). The DL impels two levels of cross-functional inquiry. The DL1 concerns the production work or even the redesign of maintenance processes (functional dimension). The users have jointly constructed new more able organizational solutions (processes, tools, methodologies, forms of coordination and management, etc.). The DL2 deals with the practices underlying the previously organizing process (metaflective dimension). In other words, the results and processes in DL1 were investigated in DL2. The users were therefore mobilized in co-design and formalization of new organizing standards and routines. The place of the real work analysis and the roles of Enabling Ergonomist are investigated. These appear to be key elements to translate the developmental potential of the actors (Ergonomist included) and their practices into actual productions.


Organizational autopoiesis Developmental Laboratory Processes participatory design Enabling interventions 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Centre on Work and Development, Conservatoire National des Arts et MétiersParisFrance

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