Transmission system operators (TSOs) plan and maintain the high-voltage grid, regulate grid operations and guarantee the safe operation of the high-voltage grid operation. Although TSOs are privately managed in Germany, they operate in a regulated environment because they provide a public service. A major task in recent years for the TSOs was to incorporate the increasing requirements of public participation within the context of transmission network expansion. In order to meet these regulatory challenges, the TSO needed to rethink their organizational structure and faced change. The presented study therefore sheds light on how the TSOs respond to these requirements on an organizational level. Based on qualitative interviews with the German TSOs, this article provides first empirical results in relation to the question of the influence of external stimuli on and reaction patterns of organizational change in companies operating in a regulated environment. The results show that the TSOs followed different pathways in the way they react to the exogenous impulse, even though they do provide similar services. With regard to the empirical data, it can be seen that the willingness to change appears to be increasing in the investigated companies providing public services, the more open the corporate culture is. In addition, it appears that corporate transparency and flatter hierarchical structures also facilitate the establishment of transparent communication with the public. All in all, the results thus confirm the influence of corporate culture on the ability to transform, as described in the scientific literature, also for companies providing public services.
Public Services, Regulated Environment, Transparency
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Professor for Strategic Management, Business Administration, University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück, Germany
Researcher, Business and Social Sciences, University of Applied Sciences, Germany