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La firme locale—globale : Lyonnaise des Eaux (1980-2004) / The local global firm: Lyonnaise des Eaux (1980-2004)

Dominique Lorrain
Sociologie du Travail
Vol. 47, No. 3, LES NOUVEAUX FORMATS DE L'INSTITUTION (Juillet-Septembre 2005), pp. 340-361
Published by: Elsevier Masson SAS
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41929130
Page Count: 22
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Abstract

Cet article étudie la politique d'internationalisation de la société Lyonnaise des Eaux (aujourd'hui Suez), et plus particulièrement ses transformations internes sur la période 1980-2004 : ses étapes, ses propriétés organisationnelles et les principes mis en œuvre. L'argument soutenu est que la firme a mis au point une forme nouvelle lui permettant de faire groupe tout en exploitant des services différents dans un grand nombre de pays : la firme locale-globale. Différente des types existants (firme H, U, M, J), cette forme se caractérise par quatre propriétés : un rôle central des unités de base (les exploitations), des procédures de reporting vers un centre compact, une assistance du centre, des échanges directs entre unités de base relevant d'un principe de connectivité. L'article s'interroge en conclusion sur les ressorts d'une capacité au changement qui caractérise cette organisation privée à propriété institutionnelle. This study of the policy of internationalization conducted by Lyonnaise des Eaux (renamed Suez) and, in particular, of its internal transformations during the period from 1980 to 2004 focuses on the stages in these changes, the organizational characteristics and the principles that were applied. One argument is to consider that this company has designed a new type of organization which combines a deep center and the operation of many different services in a large number of countries. It has thus become a « local global" firm. Different from existing types (H, U, M, J) of firms, this new form has four characteristics: the central role played by local units, procedures for reporting toward a compact center, assistance from the center, and direct exchanges between local units following a "principle of connectivity". Questions are raised about the capacity for change of this type of firm, which combines organizational dimension and institutional characteristics. Being in the market as well as in the production of the legal environment gives this firm some specific properties in the way to conduct a strategy.

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