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[Appel clos] La métaphore cérébrale dans l'analyse organisationnelle

[Appel clos] The brain metaphor for the analysis of organizations

In partnership with the corporate chair for Operational Efficiency and Management Systems (BNP-Paribas – CentraleSupélec), the Paris Institute for Advanced Studies (Paris IAS) is recruiting a junior or senior researcher in the humanities, social sciences or neurosciences for a period of six months (starting between September 1st and December 1st 2016), to take part in a research program on the ways in which advances in the cognitive and neurosciences can facilitate the rethinking of organization and management systems through the use of the brain as a metaphor.

Beginning with an understanding of metaphors as links between a “source domain” (here, the brain and its functions, e.g. mirror neurons, conflicts among agents, empathy, information processing, memory, learning) and a “target” domain (the design of decentralized highly autonomous organizations ), the successful candidate will be expected to produce a report on how recent neuroscientific and cognitive research can lead to new ways of designing organizations.


In this general thematic framework, the project proposed should respond to one or more of the following issues:

-         Bridging conceptual and methodological approaches from the human and social sciences (e.g., anthropology, psychology, linguistics, management, business administration) with recent research on the functions of the brain;

-         Rethinking and developing previous uses of the metaphor of the brain in different domains, especially in management and organization theory;

-         On the basis of the above mentioned analysis, contextualizing organizations as living organisms rather than machines;

-         In line with general systems theory and theories of interactional design, focusing on the relationship between complexity and the simple (simplexity).


The successful applicant will become resident researcher at Paris IAS for a period of six months. During this period, he/she will be free of any administrative or teaching tasks and will benefit from the working conditions offered by Paris IAS (including an office and workstation, meeting and conference rooms, facilitated access to research libraries in Paris, and funding for travel expenses).

He/she will be in close contact with the Chair for Operational Efficiency and Management Systems (BNP-Paribas – CentraleSupélec), and will organise a conference related to the project toward the end of the fellowship. He/she will also co-author a research article with the Chair holders.

Furthermore, the candidate will benefit from the scientific contacts of the IEA in the research institutions of the Paris area, and will have the opportunity to develop collaborations with centers engaged in research in the same field.

During the residency, the cost of their accommodation in Paris will be covered by Paris IAS. The status proposed by Paris IAS for the resident researchers will depend on whether or not the home institution contributes to compensation and insurance coverage during the residency. Researchers are not allowed to benefit from several fellowships over the same period.

At the end of his/her stay, the resident researcher will have to produce a research report, as a single author or co-authored with the holders of the Operational Efficiency and Management Systems Chair.


Researchers from all over the world are eligible.

The applicant must have at least three years of active research experience in the field of the project following their PhD at the time of the application.

Researchers with less than 10 years of active research experience after their PhD at the time of the application must provide two letters of recommendation.

French and English language skills are a prerequisite. 


The main selection criteria are:

  • Scientific quality of the project and its suitability for the current call for applications
  • The applicant’s scientific background
  • For junior researchers (3 to 9 years after PhD at the time of the application), two letters of recommendation


Deadline for applications: Monday, March 28th, 2016 at 3:00 pm, Paris time

Short-listing of the applicants: beginning of April 2016

Interviews (one or two, online if necessary) of the shortlisted applicants: April 2016

Final selection: end of April 2016

Beginning of the 6-month-research residency: Between September 1st and December 1st, 2016, depending on the availability of the applicant



To apply, candidates will write a brief research project proposal in French or in English. In this proposal, five pages in length, candidates will describe how they intend to gather the information required, as well as the methods that they plan to use.

The application file, in French or in English, must be submitted only through the online application system on the Paris IAS website. Paper applications will not be accepted.

The online application will include the following:

  • Completed online application form
  • Curriculum vitae (maximum 5 pages) including a list of publications and a list of the five most important publications
  • Description of the research project (5 pages), including:

-         A general presentation of the research, hypotheses and main objectives

-         A description of the methodology to be applied

-         A selected short bibliography covering the proposed topic

-         A short summary of the project

  • Two letters of recommendation for junior researchers (3 to 9 years after PhD)
Simon Luck : candidature@paris-iea.fr
30/03/2016 15:00