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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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One of the First Experiences of “Change”.The Case of the RATP: Albert David

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Albert DAVID

I will be talking here about the modernization of the RATP (Paris city transport authority), as it was organized by Christian Blanc, between 1989 and 1992. But I could equally well have chosen the ISO 9001 certification of the Corporate Branch of France Telecom, the establishment of scoring tools in the URSSAF organizations, the project management systems at Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris, or the improvements in service quality achieved by the Île-de-France transport authority.

All of these change management programs share a common theme: they all involve, at various levels, the modernization of public service organizations. When it comes down to it, we can talk about major transformations, major projects, but it is all these small or medium-sized projects, or at least those that appear small or medium-sized, that not only contribute, but in many cases are in fact essential to demonstrating the opportunities and difficulties that organizations in general have in changing, and not only public service organizations.

I am not going to draw up a general assessment of the modernizations that have been carried out in the public sector: there have been any number of conferences, publications, reports and summaries dealing with that issue. What I shall simply be trying to do, using the example of the RATP and a handful of other companies is to provide fuel for the debate.

So let’s look first of all at the role played by Christian Blanc at the...

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