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Sample text

The actors described the situation very well: ‘Normally, they are required to consult us before embarking on this type of deal. ’ ‘In a conflict with a salesperson, the golden rule is never to make things worse. Otherwise, the salesperson refers the matter to his superiors instead of answering my question. In which case they’ll tell me I’m not being proactive and that I’m standing in the way of business. No, I prefer to smooth things over. You have to put the question to the salesperson so as not ruffle feathers.

One would have to be very naïve, or blind, not to see that the more competitors there are in a market, the greater the client’s room for choice when confronted with a ‘problem’, thanks to his greater ability to exert pressure on his supplier. So we are indeed talking about protection from the client: the person who, in management rhetoric, is supposed to stand ‘at the heart of the organization’; more prosaically, the organization’s members are more concerned with keeping him on the sidelines. This is because, faced with the apparently contradictory demands of the customer with a vast choice before him (‘give me more for less’), the organization of work is the obvious adjustment variable.

Yet the reverse was the case. In the current situation, the department was a fragmented organization, opaque even to those who worked for it, where information flowed poorly. To take a sociological image, it functioned like a honeycomb, being segmented and compartmentalized, where nobody knew what anyone else was doing, with much effort being duplicated as a result. Let’s try to dig deeper. ’, asked one member of the department when I asked him to describe its composition. Given that the department was extremely compartmentalized, not only did people not know each other, they didn’t know what the others in the department were doing.

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