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Oxford University: Facing the Future (Prospect reply)

John Kay responds to some of the criticisms that resulted from his recent article in Prospect Magazine.

When competition will not do

The recent difficulties faced by Railtrack and other utilities raises fundamental questions about how to achieve low prices and high safety standards. It may be necessary to look for new kinds of public-private partnerships and new ways of combining competition and regulation to achieve the best outcomes. This article provides a framework for thinking about these issues.

Economic Agenda: Sunday Telegraph 10th September 2000

French fuel blockades, the new economy and the relative weakness of the euro.

Knowing versus guessing

As markets develop, gamblers seem to increase in numbers relative to insurers. We need to emphasise the distinction.

The recipe for a mutual success

Mutuality seems to be dying as Equitable and Bradford and Bingley relinquish it and the water regulator rejects Kelda's proposition. Perhaps not surprisingly - mutuals suffer from the problems of too little capital - or too much. Is there a possibility of a sustainable constitution for a mutual business?

How Measurement in Organisations has Changed (Cambridge)

John Kay speaks about the need for seamless integration between the three roles of measurement, which he identifies as external reporting, internal control and internal analysis. His major theme is that the requirements for external reporting should be derived from the measures used for internal control which in turn should be based upon the measures used to complete internal analysis. Hence the seamless link between these three roles of measurement.

Boundary business

Traditional boundaries around companies and industries are dissolving. But this does not mean that we live in a world without boundaries.

Blurring of responsibility

You can be responsible to people to whom you are not accountable; and you can deal with interlocking and conflicting responsibilities. Why do so many thoughtful people fail to realise this?

Hairy issue helps solve rules dilemma

Regulation by rules is all very well; regulation by values is indispensable.

The oblique approach

With maturity – personal or corporate – comes the principle of obliquity. Many people have noted the paradox that the most profitable companies are not necessarily the most profit oriented.