Ben Ross Schneider
Business groups combine empirically a variety of features that have fascinated researchers from a range of disciplines. However, debate and theorizing, both generally and in relation to politics, are unlikely to progress unless the features of interest are organized in different disciplines which are clearly distinguished from each other. At a minimum, distinctions are necessary among three types of business groups—informal, pyramidal, and diversified—and the theoretical approaches associated with each. Much of this article, especially the analysis of business groups as objects of policy, focuses on the diversification dimension. Yet, not all groups pursue equally politicized strategies. Business groups vary over time, across countries, and within countries in terms of what could be called degrees of political intimacy.
Jenny Harrow and Susan D. Phillips
This chapter discusses the context of nonprofit organizations, which are under pressure to demonstrate how they act for the benefit of the public in transparent ways with obvious impact. It notes that questions of ownership and accountability have combined in nonprofit corporate governance, and that the effect aims to address stakeholder relationships and corporate governance systems more effectively. It argues that nonprofit governance theories represent a wide range of lenses that can support environmental contingencies and the increased hybridization of corporate forms and business models within the nonprofit sector, as well as promoting accountability. The chapter also determines whether increased state and societal regulation will tend to improve corporate governance practices or create a mess that allows governance mediocrity.
This article considers the role of consultants in public service reforms in different European and North American countries. It first studies the supply and demand for consultants. It then provides the findings of existing research on the effects of the growing use of consultants in the public sector on the consulting industry and the government. This article also considers the impact consultants and governments have had on each other.
The first public–private partnership (PPP) motorway in Australia was open to traffic more than two decades ago, and yet no comprehensive evaluation of PPPs in the road transport sector has been sighted. It is the intention of this chapter to fill this gap. Although there have been noticeable advancements in contract design and use of incentive mechanisms to optimize risk allocation between the public and private sectors, Australian PPP motorways have yet to deliver an optimal outcome. It is questionable whether the current risk-shifting approach in the present PPP paradigm is suitable for providing infrastructure-based road services where long-term service provision is a requirement. In such cases, a proactive risk management approach may be preferred.
In many respects quality originated as a collection of poorly theorized methods which were developed through practice in the workplace. The “quality movement” was built by adherents who tried to provide a theoretical basis and ideology from mostly atheoretical practical tools. In transferring these methods to the public sector, a similar industry has evolved, developing an ideology and packages of tools for the less competitive and culturally different environment of this sector. The purpose of this article is to give a balanced and critical overview of the different ideas and methods of quality assurance and improvement as applied in the public sector. It describes approaches which have been used in multi-professional services, such as health care; in single quasi-professional services, such as education, police, fire, library, and social services; and other government services such as clerical services and industrial-type services which include a physical goods products such as refuse collection and road maintenance.
This article aims to examine the various definitions and categories of the concept of public–private partnerships (PPPs), the nature of the recent debate in the disciplines of economics, political science, and sociology, the business side of the partnerships in terms of the companies involved worldwide, and the regulatory perspective from a government point of view of how to steer, govern, and regulate partnerships. The article closes with some remarks on future research agendas. The first section deals with definition challenges. Some scholars conceive of PPPs in a very broad manner that tries to encompass nearly all sustained activities between business actors and formal political actors from traditional political institutions.
Martin Lodge and Christopher Hood
Regulation is a word that has gained a wide currency in discussions of public sector reform over the past thirty years or so. Many have claimed that increased formal regulation of public sector activity reflects deep-seated ‘modernist’ changes in the functioning of state machinery. This article scrutinises regulation within government. To put the modern use of the R-word (to signify oversight of government) into context, this article begins by pointing out the relatively modest incidence and growth of articles using this term in some of the leading international journals on executive government and law and society over the last decade. This article questions whether accounts, are still able to offer much leverage over the contemporary regulation of government by itself. It also suggests that past commentators may have been rather too optimistic about the ease with which government could regulate the private sector.
The focus of this article is the strategic use of regulation by industry and regulators, and the rules and procedures that have been and can be put in place to reduce wasteful attempts to ‘game the system’. Regulation exists to get industry, organisations, and individuals to modify their behaviour to gain compliance with the law, and ultimately to achieve desired outcomes. Yet it operates in a world where the law is imperfect, enforcement and compliance costly, resources limited, and the regulator has discretion. Regulation has two other features — it generates winners and losers; and its creation and enforcement are the outcome of political and legal processes. Investing in rule change can be as lucrative as maximising profits within the rules. It often ‘pays’ the industry to invest in trying to influence and respond to legislators and regulators to gain favourable regulation, or to minimise the impact of unfavourable regulation.
This article aims to emphasize the economic importance of the service sector, to explain those factors which make services different from products, to apply strategic management concepts and frameworks to service organizations, and to consider the causes and strategic implications of the internationalization of services. Are there any real differences between products and services? Is it appropriate to manage service businesses in the same way as manufacturing businesses? Can the concepts and frameworks with which strategists analyse industries, firms, and competition be applied unchanged and as effectively to services? These questions are the starting point for this article. The article takes the view that services do differ from products in ways that can, and should, make a difference to strategists.