Abstract: Allo! Renault Speaking: Building a Telephone Network within a Growing Factory

Alain P. Michel

Abstract

As it grew, the Renault automobile factory in Boulogne-Billancourt (France) developed an internal telephone network that evolved according to the company's needs. First it will show the usefulness of an inquiry on the exact implantation of this technological device. The company archives retain a collection of implantation drawings which inform us on the distribution and flow of telephone communication within the firm. The second point concerns the hierarchical structure that can be deduced from these installations. Regularly, Renault edited new phone directories that held understand the functioning of this local network. Their classification proceeds from the perception of what a factory should be. Thus, my last point is related to the social and cultural aspect of communication. The company tried--through the images--to rationalize the use of the telephone. This attempt is significant of the management's difficulties to control what was being done with its communication device.