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Taming the public sector hybrid

There is too much inconsistency in the way the UK's privatised industries are managed and financed. A new and comprehensive plan is needed.

Stakeholding misconceived

Encouraging employee share ownership doesn't create a "stakeholder society". Instead, it can lead to disasters like Enron, where workers have too much riding on the success of one firm.

On John Kay’s Bookshelf – Archive page

Books that John has reviewed in the past...

Get back on the rails

Whilst both the government and the market plays ever closer attention to the dismal performance of Railtrack it is worth asking why a separate track authority was needed in the first place. Given that the financial case is so compelling, how might Railtrack now be renationalised so as to achieve autonomy with real accountability?

The customer knows best

The management of public services is a key issue for the next five years. The process of re-appointing Tony Blair as Britain's CEO gives some pointers to how it should be done.

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?

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?

Ticket touts

As All England Club strives once more to foil ticket touts, the professional economist views the idea of the “just price” with patronising and detached amusement. But is he right?

The fate of Project Tiny Tim

This case was prepared by Professor John Kay, under the direction of emeritus Professor Charles Dickens. It is intended as the basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of an administrative situation.

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.

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