CSR and public service : oppositions, juxtaposition and articulations. The France Telecom case.

Abstract : Today, Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Service logics, claiming to serve the general interest, are spreading within the management of for-profit public service networks in France; networks that have been historically privatized or on the way to becoming. The aim of this research is to bring an understanding to how these logics are opposed, juxtaposed and articulated in a managerial context that is dominated by a logic of maximized shareholder value. In this perspective, we rely on the notion of “device”, as employed by Foucault, and the actor-network theory. We focus on the France Telecom company (FT) and its CSR “device(s)”. We also use comparative insights drawn from additional case studies. Our results indicate that the official CSR “device” for FT is disconnected from public service logics, placing more importance on short term logics. Its priority is risk anticipation and communication, demonstrating FTs preference for the CSR Business Case. Nevertheless, in a decentralized and autonomous way, innovative CSR initiatives progressively emerge from within R&D, strategic marketing functions and strategic partnerships with key suppliers. These initiatives target profitability with environmental protection concerns, public service by proxy (providing benefits to utility services to help them better perform their missions) and digital divide overtake. However, in the social area, the FT CSR policy is embodied primarily through internal policies of diversity as well as control of the supply chain which was put in place to avoid major human rights violations. These policies seem to hardly touch the heart of the employment relationship, unless counter-powers seize the opportunity to do so, as shown through the case study concerning the International Framework Agreement on the fundamental social rights at work in FT.
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Angelique Ngaha Bah. CSR and public service : oppositions, juxtaposition and articulations. The France Telecom case.. Business administration. Université Paris Est Créteil Val de Marne (Paris 12), 2011. English. ⟨tel-01688140⟩

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