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Corporate control and the public interest; theory and cases

Branston, J. Robert (2003)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis contains two lines of research. The first applies the strategic decision-making theory of the firm to the issue of corporate governance. We find that preferences vary over strategy but not all interests are currently being represented, resulting in a failure to govern in the public interest. As solutions, we consider membership of the company and also more immediate ways forward, focusing on regulation and democratically controlled public agencies, but stressing the fundamental significance of active, effective citizens. Throughout, our arguments are illustrated using utility companies as our primary examples. It includes discussion of electricity privatisation in Mexico and, to demonstrate that the theory is widely applicable, we also consider governance of corporate universities. The second line of research builds upon earlier analysis by considering aspects of British electricity privatisation. We consider the role of independent power producers, finding that they have not significantly increased competition as intended but have adversely affected the future viability of the system. The affect of privatisation on electricity prices is also considered via the use of a counterfactual model for continued state ownership. Observed prices are found to have been significantly higher than those that would have been charged had the industry remained in the public sector.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Sugden, Roger and Driffield, Nigel L.
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Business
Department:Department of Commerce
Subjects:HF Commerce
HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:174
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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