Keywords: internet, intranet, telecommunications operators, information system, strategic planning, customer processes, strategic adaptation, France Telecom
The Internet age and the role of telecommunication operators: the case of France Telecom
In the Internet era, telecommunication operators clearly appear as strategic actors. This paper focuses on some fundamental issues for both management science and FRANCE TELECOM, particularly from the point of view of techno-organisational management. On one hand, our methodology relies on a long-term in-depth inductive case study, which was begun in the early 1990s, and, on the other, we adopt an analytical approach using a constructivist theoretical framework. The first part deals with the three-dimensional uncertainty, which characterises FRANCE TELECOM in the context of its privatisation and internationalisation. The second part shows why strategic planning can no longer be considered as the touchstone for adaptation to the external environment in the context of a coordinated strategy centred on customer processes. Our third part focuses on FRANCE TELECOM and its Information System (IS). What is the path dependency? What dilemmas are they faced with? How can FRANCE TELECOM evolve from a monopolistic network operator into a "Net Company"?