The mysteries of change à la française

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Jean-Pierre SEGAL

CNRS - Gestion & Société, Auteur de Efficaces ensemble, un défi français (Le Seuil, 2009)

Seminar Business life | Friday December 4, 2009 - 9h30 - 12h

In his analysis of the successes and failures of the automated Meteor metro line project for the Paris metro, Jean-Pierre Segal emphasises the vulnerability felt by the Paris Transport authority workers concerning their professional identity. They are exposed to criticism both from metro passengers, and frequently by their own hierarchy and colleagues who have more highly recognised jobs. A substantial project, such as Meteor, which encourages all those taking part to do their best, eases these tensions and attracts support thereby enhancing its success. However, those who do not take part, far from being pleased with the progress made, find fault, and generate ill feeling towards the management which they feel is less sympathetic to their position. Using all means available to make fun of those who have been involved in the project, they ruin the project's potential for involving more people. This sort of rivalry, supplemented by a frustrated appetite for recognition, and particularly prevalent in France, is a surprisingly strong, determining factor in French company life.

The entire article was written by:


This session was published in issue n°83 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled Les énigmes du changement.

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