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Post Offices of Europe 18th – 21st Century

A Comparative History

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Edited By Muriel Le Roux and Sébastien Richez

The cursus publicus, established by the Roman Empire to connect all its conquered territories, may be considered to be the ancestor of all modern post offices. Therefore, mail service networks are part of an organization, dating from Antiquity, which is common to the entire European community.
From the 18 th century onwards, the French mail service network may be divided into three successive phases. First, the consolidation of the transportation system that was being set up. Second, the development of the system’s ability to deal with increasing traffic (through broader human resources). Thirdly, the diversification of its operations and the development of its technical modernisation.
What was the situation in other European countries? Are there similarities and differences in how their networks were set up and organized? Finally, how did European Post Offices cooperate with each other in spite of their differences?
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Management and Adaptation at La Poste Group: Christian Kozar

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Christian KOZAR

Speaking after an historian is always a problem, since history is based on facts. Business management, on the other hand, sometimes relies to a small degree on intuition, even in the presence of a certain number of guidelines. Currently the rules governing all types of business are changing. Please forgive me if I am rather blunt; this is the most useful contribution I can make to the present discussion.

La Poste is not reforming itself today for the umpteenth time. Its actions are inscribed in the opening and ending cycle of a system that was begun by André Darrigrand. We are not self-complacent enough to assert that we are reforming ourselves. This would be inaccurate: in the absence of an out-and-out crisis, any sudden reform would create a strong counter-movement of resistance. We are reacting to a movement that was begun by others. As such, we are part of the continuity of change and want the French to realize that La Poste is not a tired, old, dusty business, concerned only with the well-being of its employees to the detriment of its customers and clients. On the contrary, La Poste is capable of adapting itself to the human needs and technologies of the 21st century. La Poste has totally entered the 21st century.

If I may offer a simple example: the register e-letter. It required two years of development, because we could not make any mistakes. If it had been faulty, another...

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