The Complexities of Business Orientation
This chapter seeks to frame the stories of the telecommunications companies analytically so as to give some new insight into the processes of change. It discusses the increased business-ness of the national incumbent telecommunications operators in some selected countries. The issues the companies are dealing with demonstrate the institutional complexity of the relationship between principal and agent. Ownership and regulation can be understood as relational concepts, with the interaction between owner and company, between regulators and regulated, between principal and agent being central. Employees were trained in customer orientation, some authority was decentralised, recruitments were frozen, and there was an acknowledged need to change the culture of the organisations. Taking the process-oriented stance and attempting to grasp the within-firm processes of change reveals a multitude of issues. The dimensions of identity, autonomy, stakeholders and uncertainty are dealt with not in a strictly instrumental sense.