Unravelling complex organisational structures among mobile operators

Jason Whalley (Based at the Department of Management Science, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)
Peter Curwen (Based at the Department of Management Science, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)


ISSN: 1463-6697

Publication date: 21 June 2013



The purpose is to map the corporate structure of Vodafone Group. Through this, the paper will demonstrate the complexity of the company and argue for improved data availability to facilitate a better understanding of the mobile industry.


The paper begins by briefly recounting some relevant literature before detailing the data sources used in the analysis of Vodafone Group. A structure of Vodafone Group, highlighting the use of holding companies, is then presented, after which a series of national case studies are detailed. The case studies are used to shed light on a series of topics that are subsequently discussed.


The paper highlights the organisational complexity of Vodafone Group. There are many more companies within the Vodafone Group than expected. These companies are held through a series of holding companies, some of which are located in tax havens.

Research limitations/implications

Assembling the data highlighted how little information is readily available in the public domain regarding the structure of telecommunications companies.

Practical implications

There is a need for more data regarding the structure of mobile operators to be available in the public domain, so that a better appraisal of their actions by investors, regulators and governments can be made.

Social implications

Understanding the structure of mobile operators should enable them to be better regulated and appropriately taxed.


No other paper has examined in detail the organisational structure of Vodafone Group.



Whalley, J. and Curwen, P. (2013), "Unravelling complex organisational structures among mobile operators", info, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 3-22. https://doi.org/10.1108/info-07-2012-0032

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Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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