Privatization and Organizational Taxonomy: The Case of the National Enterprise
Conceptually, privatization entails changing organizational status from public to private and from a monopoly to a competitive situation. In practice, the outcome may be different. Many privatized utilities conform to the traditional notion of neither the public nor the private enterprise. The broad dichotomy of the public-private model of enterprise classification no longer provides adequate insight into the workings of organizations in today's environment. The new challenges emanating from the increasingly complex nature of modern environment require a new philosophy of organizational classification--a reconceptualization of conventional paradigms.
This chapter, based on the United Kingdom's privatization experience, notes the importance of an emergent organizational form--the national enterprise--which has not been well explored in the existing literature. The chapter offers a framework for identifying and delineating the boundaries of this organizational type. It is suggested that a clear articulation of the national enterprise concept might be useful to governmental strategies in planning the process of transforming state-owned enterprises.
The most common approach to the classification of enterprise organizations is to distinguish between the public and the private. Although the public-private dichotomy may provide a useful guide, it is nevertheless inadequate for constructing a general taxonomy ( Perry and Rainey, 1988). It no longer provides a comprehensive description of the subtleties and varieties of a broad range of modern enterprise organizations.
This chapter accordingly advances the concept of the national enterprise, which is intended to overcome some of the obvious weaknesses of the public-