Agreeing on Value, Disagreeing on Evaluation? Contested Evaluation Regimes in Cooperatives

Friday, 20 July 2018: 17:30
Oral Presentation
Nina POHLER, Humboldt-Universit├Ąt zu Berlin, Germany
My contribution is about (e)valuation as a social and inner-organizational process inside cooperatives. These cooperatives developed their (e)valuation regimes and practices as a critique of mainstream economic and organizational practices. I use examples from my PhD project on justification work in cooperatives in three different sectors to illustrate how the process of finding adequate test arrangements (Boltanski and Thévenot 2006) and related measures and calculation devices (Callon and Muniesa 2005) is entangled with questions of justice. Furthermore, I show that conflicts around evaluative justice are not necessarily only about finding appropriate measures and principles of evaluation. The question of evaluating persons and objects itself can be contested. Depending on the situation and the involved actors and entities, trying to formalize and measure relations according to one, 'universal' principle of evaluation can be viewed as fundamentally unjust, because it ignores particularities. I explore this tension between a generalist and a particularist idea of justice and show, how organizations use coordination mechanisms and arrangements with varying degrees of formalization to cope with it.