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Mail carriers’ routes: Managerial standards, collective regulation and work activity strategies

Abstract : The work of mailmen is mainly defined by the delivery routes they are assigned. Since this special organization of work grants them broad autonomy, the processes for delimiting, defining, and conducting routes, must be analyzed by taking into account observations from three levels. The first one focuses on the French Post Office’s managerial standards, though, increasingly determined by objectives for making a profit, have little impact on mail deliverer’s activities. The second centers around this occupational group’s own regulation which stem from a hierarchy based on seniority and control over mail delivery and routes. The third level of observation takes into view the strategies for delivering mail that postmen adopt on their routes. These strategies reflect different relations to managerial objectives and to consumers; and they reveal contrasting conceptions of the job of delivering mail. Emphasis is laid on the fact that the situations for working at lower levels in the service sector cannot be separated from the factors defining and organizing these situations.
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Didier Demazière, Delphine Mercier. Mail carriers’ routes: Managerial standards, collective regulation and work activity strategies. Sociologie du Travail, 2006, 48 (Supplément 1), pp.1 - 21. ⟨10.1016/j.soctra.2006.02.004⟩. ⟨hal-02558176⟩



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