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Why and how do national monopolies go global? International competition, supranational regionalism and the transnational reorganization of postal and logistics companies in Europe

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  • Plehwe, Dieter
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    Abstract

    The paper documents and analyses the rise of a transnational transport and logistics' industry within the European Union. Neither a global commodity chain, nor a national business system approach is considered adequate to help comprehend trans border reorganization within the European Union signalling a need for an approach to organization research able to tackle transnational institutionalization processes. To illustrate the extent to which transformation and 'denationalization' of traditional transport industries has proceeded in the 1990s, the paper starts with an account of the very recent ascent of the largest European diversified logistics service company: the German Post office (now Deutsche Post AG). The rapid conversion of the public postal system (by way of aggressive M&A activity mainly) into a transmodal, transnational, and information technology intensive private organization able to supply a wide range of both uniform and highly specialized services across borders is used to introduce the argument on: a) the overall transformation of national European transport systems and on b) new structures of competition and cooperation with regard to an emerging transnational production related service branch. -- Der Beitrag dokumentiert und analysiert die Enstehung einer transnationalen Transport- und Logistikindustrie in der Europäischen Union. Weder der 'global commodity chain'-Ansatz, noch der 'national business system'-Ansatz werden als hinreichend erachtet, grenzüberschreitende Reorganisationsprozesse innerhalb der Europäischen Union zu bearbeiten. Damit wird auf die Notwendigkeit verwiesen, einen organisationssoziologischen Ansatz zu entwickeln, der transnationale Institutionalisierungsprozesse erfassen kann. Um die Reichweite der Transformations- und De-Nationalisierungsprozesse zu illustrieren, vermittelt das Papier einen Überblick über die jüngste Entwickung des größten diversifizierten europäischen Logistikdienstleistungsunternehmens: die Deutsche Post AG. Die Analyse des rapiden Umbaus der öffentlichen Postverwaltung (vorwiegend durch aggressive Übernahme- und Fusionsaktivitäten) in eine transmodale, transnationale und informationstechnologieintensive privatwirtschaftliche Organisation, welche eine breite Palette von einheitlichen und hochspezialisierten Dienstleistungen grenzüberschreitend anbieten kann, wird aus zwei Gründen vorgenommen: zum einen zur Darstellung der generellen Transformation der nationalen europäischen Gütertransportsysteme und zum anderen zur Erfassung der neuen Strukturen von Wettbewerb und Kooperation in einer im Entstehungsprozess befindlichen, transnationalen produktionsbezogenen Dienstleistungsbranche.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Organization and Employment with number FS I 99-102.

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    Date of creation: 1999
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzboem:fsi99102

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    1. Ruggie, John Gerard, 1993. "Territoriality and beyond: problematizing modernity in international relations," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(01), pages 139-174, December.
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