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Virginie Fernandez

Virginie is an Senior Lecturer in Management. Interested in collective action in risky and emergency contexts, her current projects deal with sensemaking, embodiment and temporality.

Works at

Associate professor at Umeå School of Business, Economics and Statistics (USBE) Section: Business Administration, Management
Samhällsvetarhuset, Biblioteksgränd 6, A33701 Umeå universitet, 901 87 Umeå

My research interests are in the continuity of my PhD thesis titled "Emergence of collective competence in extreme contexts. The case of French mountain rescue teams".

My work tends to explore collective competence and extreme contexts in three main directions. The first one relates to collective sensemaking and how individuals and team members make sense of both their body and emotions to tackle issues raised in risky and emergency contexts. The second adopts a practiced-based view and intends to "rehabilitate" improvisation as a major practice rather than a "plan B" that sometimes needs to be hidden. Finally, I explore temporality in extreme contexts acknowledging the juxtaposition of several forms of time in organizations.

I use qualitative methods (interviews, participating observation, fieldwork) and adopt various theoretical perspective (practice-based studies, sensemaking, strong processual approach) to contribute to the development of the research fields I am invested in.


Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, John Wiley & Sons 2024, Vol. 32, (1)
Fernandez, Virginie; Giordano, Yvonne; Hällgren, Markus
EGOS 2022, "Organizing: the beauty of imperfection", Vienna, Austra, July 7-9, 2022
Fernandez, Virginie; Jané, Sophie; Hällgren, Markus
Qualitative research in organization and management, Emerald Group Publishing Limited 2022, Vol. 17, (4) : 425-441
Jané, Sophie; Fernandez, Virginie; Hällgren, Markus

I teach in both English and French in various disciplines: organisation theory, research methodology, project management, and human resources management.

Through the lectures and seminars that I provide, I strive to impart knowledge, skills and attitudes to students to support their rise in competence and autonomy. I like to promote active learning and I design my courses so that the students are fully part of the teaching-learning process. I consider that higher education aims to prepare them to enter working life by promoting actionable knowledge in the field. The first part of my professional career as consultant in entrepreneurship showed me how important it is to bring academic work closer to actual managerial reality. This is what drives me during thesis supervisions and groupwork tutorials. In addition, I try to integrate knowledge built through research into my courses. This feels part of a collaborative and incremental logic with other researchers from the scientific community to which I belong.