Compatibility between decentralisation and cohesion

Date of publication: June 15, 1990

Abstract:

In designing, implementing, developing and maintaining the organisation of a multinational computer services company, one must first of all respect the constraints linked to service. In its development, as well as in its management, GSI has preserved its roots and the intentions that presided over its creation 20 years ago. With the passing of time, they have showed to be genuine key factors of success ; and the organisation that was set up to nourish them - in which great importance is given to the circulation of information - influences to a large extent practices and daily work habits, notably as regards marketing, communications both internal and external (where is the borderline between them?) and human resources management. Indeed, for "delocalized" service organisations, it is a vital challenge to preserve the nature, the form, the homogeneity of the service, while keeping relations of extreme proximity with customers who are often very different from each other - and that is particularly TRUE when you work in different countries. We are presenting here a few thoughts, and a few facts, from which the organisation of GSI was designed 20 years ago : this is the way we are facing the challenge ; we think that this method is the right one for GSI, we know how much tenacity it takes to keep on the same course ; and our remarks should not be taken as anything more than one example, without any pretention to make general recommendations

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