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Salutary lessons from the downfall of a carmaker

The decline of GM is as instructive as its rise. The challenge of how to reconcile professional management with a culture of innovation remains for ever a central issue for management thinkers.

The fallacy of equating economic power with clout

Dominance of an industry or activity is not the same as scale. International trade is conducted by individuals and businesses, not governments, and it is them, who negotiate the division of the value added trade creates.

The spirit of Rockefeller is vital to scientific innovation

Large scale philanthropy, as practised by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, is a business of economic significance rather than clarity.

A triumph of hope over experience

Merger Monday has proved that in the merger market, hope springs eternal. The wall of money chasing alternative investments in hope of the returns achieved in the heady 1990s, made it possible to take almost any company private.

Global business deserves a peaceful May Day

Globalisation is not the cause of poverty and inequality in the world economy. Poor people are poor not because they participate too much in international trade but because they participate too little.

Size isn’t all that matters for global economies

For countries as for businesses, small scale is no barrier to success. John explains why size isn’t all that matters.

Big media can never be truly creative media

Is it inevitable that media industries will be dominated by conglomerates? This is the industry where scale creates more problem than its advantages

Survival of the fittest not the fattest

The increased concentration of the car industry has been a commonly used, yet increasingly untrue example on the effects of globalisation. There is still an important lesson to learn though.

On John Kay’s Bookshelf – Archive page

Books that John has reviewed in the past…

The roots of pluralism

Dominant companies may confer marginal benefits to consumers that are difficult, if not impossible, to estimate. However, antitrust authorities will do little wrong if they stick to the underlying principles of competition policy.