Shortcomings in current theory


For many years I have been frustrated by the poor quality of the debate about the governance of organisations, particularly of commercial firms, but also of non commercial bodies.  This seems to reflect shortcomings in the way in which people think about the organisations they deal with.  This is not just a problem for the man in the street.  The confusion is equally prevalent among professionals, whether in business, in academic life, in public life, or in journalism.

Cutting my teeth as a would-be professional politician in the 1970s in a Britain that was divided about the proper balance between the public and private sector and then gaining an exposure to the latest thinking about the nature of the firm and business strategy while studying in the United States at the end of that decade, I found myself reaching different conclusions about the nature of the firm, its purposes, and how it operated from many of those around me.  For more than thirty years I have developed, tested and debated those conclusions in the course of a career that has involved working as a consultant, line manager and director in companies varying widely in size and industry sector, several years involvement in party politics developing policy and standing for parliament, and almost twenty years service in part time roles within Britain’s National Health Service.  All the while, I have scoured the work of economists, business academics and a variety of other commentators for insights that would add to my understanding. The Escondido Theory is the outcome of these experiences and explorations.

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