This just in from a writer on management

The consequences of the hijack have been momentous. The first was to align managers\’ interests not with their own organisations but with financial outsiders – shareholders.

I don\’t think I\’ll be hiring Simon Caulkin anytime soon to advise on management structures.

For managers are there to run the organisation in the interest of the shareholders, not the organisation, the management itself or the insiders. You know, this principal/agent problem?

For example, the British coal industry was run for the benefit of the NUM, along with their political hangers on, certain parts of the Labour party. Instead of in the interests of those who actually owned it, the taxpayers.

And, amazingly, we tend not to think of the British coal industry (or car industry, BT, GPO and all the rest run in the same manner) as being well managed institutions.

Innovation has stalled since the 1980s

It has? Err, haven\’t we just gone through the great telecoms revolution? The internet, the web, mobile phones? Smartphones, the fastest disseminating invention ever, in the history of the entire species? Effectively they\’re only a decade old at most and there\’s a billion people with them already?

The great crash of 2008 stripped away any remaining doubt: the economic progress of the last 30 years was a mirage.

Err, hang on. UK GDP per capita in 1980 was $12,931 (measured in 1990 PPP adjusted dollars). In 2008 it was $23,742 (in the same inflation adjusted 1990 $). We\’re currently what, 5% still off that top? $22k say?

I dunno about you but I\’d say that\’s a near doubling over the 30 years, not a collapse back as all that growth was a mirage.

Not only wouldn\’t I hire Mr. Caulkin as a management consultant I wouldn\’t hire him to do basic arithmetic.

7 comments on “This just in from a writer on management

  1. ‘Simon Caulkin is a writer on management and business’

    I’ll take your comments as accurate Tim, I have neither the time nor inclination to plough through another mess of cr*p. Thanks for doing it.

    Just so you know, I am now available to write in the Guardian about Rare Earths, Biotechnology, the steam train in the 19th Century, fly fishing and the sexual revolution. I reckon I know as much about those sujects as Simon does about his subject.

  2. If the growth does seem like a mirage, it’s because the government has pissed much of it up against a wall and, by restricting planning permits, handed a large slug of it over to the landowners.

  3. ……..The first was to align managers’ interests not with their own organisations but with financial outsiders – shareholders. That triggered a senior management pay explosion that continues to this day………

    How is it in the interests of shareholders for management to be paid too much?

    Either Management are worth their inflated pay, or shareholders have not worked out how to control it.

  4. Former Observer Management Editor plus “He is a member of the advisory council of TWIN, the Fair Trade organisation, and a Fellow of the think-tank ResPublica”.

  5. Dear Mr Worstall

    That growth has allowed government to expand hugely. All the per capita income is earned by about half the population. allowing government to keep the other half visibly idle or employed in government ‘jobs’ which are at best social lives with pension rights, at worst devilish workers busy screwing up everyone else’s lives (also with pension rights).

    Imagine what kind of a society we might now enjoy if those in government had kept their collective nose out of real society – a 3 day week? 6 months holiday? New industries?

    DP

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