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The process of social and organizational changes of the SNCF

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  1. Introduction
  2. Cultural diversity : Background
    1. Corporate culture: Definition
    2. France: Culture and general organization of work
    3. China seen by the French
    4. China: Culture and general organization of work
    5. France as seen by the Chinese
  3. Difficulties in daily business
    1. Social networks
    2. The language barrier
    3. Chinese pride
    4. Negotiation
    5. Proximity
    6. The power
    7. Work time schedule
    8. Details of the daily routine
  4. Adaptation
    1. Curve 3 weeks
    2. The curve of 6 months
  5. Conclusion

The historic French rail carrier needs no introduction. For some, it is synonymous with strikes and delays, and for others it inspires speed and technological advances. It is true that the former is the most common practice.

The SNCF is more or less associated with glorious strikes, delays, labor disputes, and insults. Why the historic French rail carrier is labeled so negative?
Some reasons for this negative picture could be the stereotypes about the administrative complexity of French bureaucracy, inertia or lack of decision-making and efficiency of public services, or even worse, it may be the laziness and innate incompetence of the SNCF agents. They may be derogatory to the public and the in-house. But the reality is more complex.

Indeed, in the 70 years of its existence, the station has undergone many changes, both in terms of its status and its organization. Thus, despite a heavy historical and cultural legacy, the French railways have begun a long and tortuous process of modernization in order to optimize its performance. This mutation is not new; it comes in with the perfect logic of liberalization of public services under EU directives.

Regarding rail transport, Directive 91/440 dated 1990 mentions no obligation to liberalize the sector for now, but stipulates that Member States must "manage the railways so that they understand the need to demonstrate competitiveness and to have sound financial management."

The directive announced the opening of instalments in the French territory of rail competition. The gradual opening began with the transport of goods (freight), on international relations on March 31, 2005, and on the market on April 1, 2006. The entry of new competitors made the possible level of passenger transport currently to be scheduled for January 1, 2010.

Thus, backed by a strong economy, social and cultural background, SNCF will have to be reorganized as a structural point of view in a social perspective. How does a business network of this magnitude be able to adapt to the European economic environment? In order to change the "railroad" attitudes towards a culture of performance, how is the public entity with a strong identity able to drive an effective policy change?

From an organizational perspective the current structure of the station is a drag on performance, new management techniques will be introduced to achieve the European objectives. (concepts of NPM - New Public Management).

The tension between public interest and objective performance of the French state will disengage in the process of change, decision-making power will therefore change hands.

Ultimately the potential liberalization of the rail network will involveprivatization, or at least self-management areas of the passenger. The example of FRET will lead to a reorganization strategy different for passenger transport. The observation of mutations in other public networks in France can be a key to the future consequences of the reorganization of theSNCF.

From a social point of view following the example of the deregulation of public services in theAnglo-Saxon, performance and profitability can be privileged at the expense of the notion of general interest.

Working conditions favorable to the station will change to conditions similar to those of the private sector. Getting to know the social changes earlier will help them understand the social state of affairs today.

Tags: SNCF, process of social and organizational restructuring

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