Scientific axes of the network
Historically, three axes have contributed to federate the members of the Network. A fourth axis was established after the 2007 Enlargement, which mobilized the members on the major issues of the European Union.
The first axis deals with the evolution of companies and markets in Europe and covers the decade 1990-2000. The aim is to analyze the response of French companies to the development of new markets in Central Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall. This program is supported by French companies and organizations such as the Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Economic Expansion Offices in France and abroad. In Central Europe, the goal is also to facilitate the development of inter-university and inter-company exchanges. Three actions will mark the evolution of scientific cooperation within the network between 1990 and 2003.
The first research project was conducted between 1991 and 1994, with the Chair of Management of the University of Lodz, an institution with which the University of Grenoble II had signed a cooperation agreement in 1989. It defines a new direction for management research aimed at better understanding Franco-Polish industrial exchanges. This program is financed by the Programmed Thematic Actions (ATP), initiated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the Polish Scientific Committee in charge of the evaluation of joint projects (KBN). Scientific relations (publications, co-supervision of theses, European projects) are developed with other universities, in particular Krakow and Poznan.
The second international conference of the Network was organized in 1995, on the theme of corporate restructuring in transition economies, in partnership with the Poznan University of Economics and the Franco-Polish School of New Information and Communication Technologies.
In 1999, the University of Economics in Katowice and the Pierre Mendès France University in Grenoble formalized a cooperation in the field of Marketing and Educational Innovation. In the same year, Katowice organizes the fifth International Conference of the PGV Network on "The Consumer and the Company in the European Space".
The Franco-Slovak program, launched in 1994 by the GREG and the Economic University of Bratislava (UEB), was inspired by the experience acquired with Polish companies. The scientific cooperation, formalized in 1998 by a framework agreement, is aimed at studying the restructuring of Slovak companies. Extended to the field of training, this program is supported by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, within the framework of a four-year contract aiming at empowering the partially French-speaking branch of the Economic University of Bratislava (COCOP program). This program is relayed by the French Embassy in Bratislava since 2003. The co-direction of master's theses by French and Slovak tutors and the systematic use of videoconferencing are original aspects of the cooperation system.
In 2000, the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi (Romania) joined the PGV Network. Shortly thereafter, it concluded a cooperation agreement with the University Pierre Mendès France. The scientific part of the joint program concerns, on the one hand, the training of Romanian doctoral students in the field of Marketing and Economics, and on the other hand, the Franco-Romanian economic cooperation in the context of European integration. Links are being developed with the Doctoral School of Management and Marketing in Iasi. In 2000, the Cuza University organized the seventh Network Conference on the theme "Cultural Dialogues and European Economic Development". Another Romanian university, that of Timisoara West, joined the Network and participated in the program on transition management.
The beginning of the 2000s was a turning point for the PGV Network, which had a homogeneous scientific mode of operation and expertise acquired over the previous years. The new European context and the unified market level out the conditions of economic competitiveness between companies and place consumers and companies in an international and global market. The question raised is that of restructuring companies in the East and of a specific management model. The program brings together all the members and will constitute, for several years, the major scientific theme of the Network. The problematic of this international and interdisciplinary research is that of the transformations operated in the culture of the companies following the introduction of the principles of the market economy.
In this perspective, the PGV Network is developing, between 2000 and 2004, multilateral research in the member countries of the CEFTA and associated countries (Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia). The objective is to analyze the application of the Anglo-Saxon managerial model to countries in transition, while taking into account the national specificities of companies. The information base created between 1999 and 2001 represents a working tool for researchers, operators and European institutions. GREG, the program's project manager, relies on the network's partners and on doctoral students engaged in management research.
The initial objective is to understand management in the East, its constants and differences within the CEFTA zone, in a perspective of European integration. The implementation of the program is based on an interdisciplinary and international investigation of a sample of companies belonging to the mentioned countries.
All aspects of management are addressed through a cross-sectional questionnaire translated and administered by partners specializing in organization, strategy, marketing, production, human resources, accounting, financial management and information management.
The decompartmentalization of national markets, the industrial and commercial coordination on a world scale leads to new globalization of markets without ignoring the differences between countries. Reinforced by managerial logics that encourage the standardization of needs and by the information society, this phenomenon leads companies to decentralize their headquarters and to call upon foreign assistance at the management level.
The opening of negotiations on European integration agreements establishes a direct link between the progress of the transition process, a prerequisite for integration, and the completion of the political process of European integration. The activity of the PGV network must be placed in this context.
The Europe of 25, then 27 and 28 members nevertheless remains a mosaic of cultures that the Anglo-Saxon model and the Internet revolution will not call into question because business relations go beyond this framework. Cultural differences are marked and manifest themselves at the level of national culture, corporate culture and the personal culture of managers. The influence of cultural contexts on internationalization strategies is an emerging area of research. Studies in different regions of the world have highlighted some specificities in the adaptation of the Anglo-Saxon model which remains the common reference.
In the managerial field, the questions concern the organization of work over time, communication between people, work design, decision-making, authority and control. They must also concern research, training, technology, culture, the transfer of knowledge and know-how, the creation of companies, the role of states and local authorities, labor mobility... The influence of national culture on company management and on business life is a reality. The global strategies developed in the 1990s have been abandoned in favor of forms that are more adapted to the local context.
A fourth one became necessary after the 2007 Enlargement, which mobilized the members on the major issues of the European Union.
After the two enlargements of Europe, in 2004 and 2007 respectively, and in the course of international conferences, the issues are changing. The PGV network broadens its horizon, leaves the field of restructuring of companies, economies and societies to enter into what is called the challenges of the European Union. The themes of the international conferences - global crisis, sustainable development, competitiveness ... - do not lead to any structural differentiation of the East-West type. From this point of view, belonging to a country is no longer a distinctive sign. The Network is turning to European themes already highlighted in previous years. A certain number of potential axes have emerged that bring together subsets of researchers, regardless of their nationality.
Based on their experience and long-standing cooperation, the members of the PGV network structure their relations within the framework of a program entitled: Observatory of European Socio-Economic Dynamics (ODYSSEE)
The program is divided into three main themes.
1. Political, social and cultural cohesion of the European model
2. Market economy, European company
3. Territorial approach
Within each of these axes, the announced themes correspond to a range of skills and experiences.