The ‘Hervé Thermique’ model, or flexibility without insecurity

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Michel HERVÉ

CEO, Hervé Thermique


Research director, CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique : National Centre for Scientific Research)

Seminar Business life | Friday January 6, 2006 - 9h30 - 12h

How does one combine flexibility, which allows a company to react to rapid changes in the market, with job stability ? The traditional capitalist model which separates those who generate capital from the workers, works on the basis of job insecurity. This method is deemed to be acceptable in the United States, but unacceptable in France. The cooperative model favours job stability, sometimes to the detriment of flexibility, but it is not very widespread. Both the patrimonial model which is linked to a Fourierist tradition (a philosophy derived from a moral and social organisation system invented by Fourier), and the St-Simon tradition (a socio-economic doctrine) seem capable of coping with the challenge. The case of Hervé Thermique illustrates this. By basing oneself on the long-term vision of a sole shareholder, and by giving an important place to intrapreneurship and to a democracy founded on a well developed Intranet, the company had made sure for the past thirty years that it has regular development in a difficult sector, and with a small employee turnover. Is this a miracle recipe or a smokescreen ?

The entire article was written by:


This session was published in issue n°60 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled Esthétique et management.

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