Erhard Friedberg

at Sciences Po


  • Sciences Po




Sciences Po

Professor Friedberg’s major contribution to the study of organizations lies in the systematic development of a theoretical and methodologiocal framework for the analysis of organized action.
In Actors and Systems co-authored with Michel Crozier, and and in Local Orders. The Dynamics of Organized Action, he has developed a general theoretical model of organization understood as the process (always political in nature) of constructing and maintaining “local or partial orders“, i.e. orderly patterns of interaction among a set of individual and collective actors linked by strategic interdependence. Formal organizations are only one subset on a continuum of such “local orders”, and the theoretical and analytical framework designed for their analysis can therefore be transposed for the study of apparently less structured and formalized fields of action as for instance social and political mobilizations, public policy arenas, economic markets and other forms of collective action.

Professor Friedberg is Austrian by birth and education. His career has been conducted largely in France where he has completed numerous empirical studies in a variety of settings both in private firms, and especially the French automotive industry, and public policy arenas such as the implementation of industrial and cultural policy in France, or the comparison between the French and the German university systems.

Erhard Friedberg is both a researcher and a teacher. He directs the Master of Public Affairs at Sciences Po and the Post-Graduate Program in Sociology at Sciences Po (the Paris Institute of Political Science). He has been a frequent consultant to Renault and other French or European Firms, as well as the author of numerous articles on the theory and practice of organized action.

E. Friedberg is currently at work on a major project called “The Living Archives of Organization Theory”. The idea behind the project is twofold : on the one hand to conduct and assemble videotaped interviews with the “Founding Fathers of Organization Theory” in the United States and Europe;
on the other hand to use the material of these interviews to document the history of organization theory in a series of multi-media productions and documentaries. So far, interviews with twenty “founding fathers” have been completed, and multi-media series have been published. The last one is called : " The Multimedia Encyclopedia in Organization Theory. From Taylor to Today" (2011).

Teaching Activities

Director of the "Master of Public Affairs" of The Sciences Po Paris (2006-2012)

Director of the Concentration area "Sociology of Action: Organization, Market and Policy" of The Sciences Po Research Master’s (2004-2008).

Director of the executive master "Gestion publique" of The Sciences Po Paris (2007-2012).

Teaching activities for Master of Public Affairs at The Sciences Po Paris (2009-2011).

Other Activities

Offices Held

Member of the National Council for the Coordination of the Human and Social Sciences in France, Paris, 2001.
Member of the President’s Commission for the Social Sciences in the Max Planck Gesellschaft, Munich, 2001-
Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Stockholm Center for Organizational Research (SCORE), 1998-
Member of the Zukunfsforum im Bundeskanzleramt, Österreich, 1997-
Modernisation des Universités et Etablissements, Paris, 1997-
Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Agence de
Member of the Scientific Committee of a Schwerpunktprogramm of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), 1997-
Member of the Planning Committee and later the Coordinating Committee of the program on European Management and Organizations in Transition (EMOT) of the European Science Foundation, 1994-98
Director of the Research Group FROG (Fédération de Recherches sur les Organisations et leur Gestion), 1993-96
Secretary General of EGOS (European Group for Organization Studies) 1992-95
Member of the Scientific Council of the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, 1992-
Member of the Advisory Board of the Masters Program in Public Economy, FORMEZ, Naples, Italy, 1991-93
President of the Centre d’Analyse, de Formation et d’Intervention (CAFI), 1983-98;

Editorial Duties

Member of review board, Organization Studies, 1992-
Co-founder and member of the editorial committee, Gérer et Comprendre, 1985-92

Prizes and honours

Docteur honoris causa, Université de Liege (2012).

"Nouvel Economiste", Best Economist of the Year Award, Category "Management", Paris (1995).


Academic Career

« Habilitation à diriger des recherches », University Paris IV, with a scientific essay on : The Sociology of Organized Action, (1992)
PhD Magna Cum Laude, Freie Universität, West-Berlin, with a dissertation on Staat und Industrie in Frankreich (1979)
Masters in Political Studies and Research, Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, Paris (1969)
Graduate, Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Paris (1966)

Employment History

Program Director of the School of Government and Public Policy (SGPP Jakarta / Indonésie) since June 2012
Director, Master of Public Affairs at Sciences Po, 2006-2012
Director, <CSO (CNRS/FNSP), Paris, 1993-2007
Full Professor of sociology, Sciences Po (Paris) (1999-2007)
Director of the Post-Graduate Program in Sociology at the IEP, Paris (1992-2012)
Senior Research Fellow of Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), at the Centre de Sociologie des Organisations (1977-99)
Research-Fellow, International Institute of Management at the Science Center, West Berlin (1974-77)
Research-Fellow, Centre de Sociologie des Organisations (CSO), Paris (1968-74)

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