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Public Utilities, Second Edition

Old Problems, New Challenges

David E. McNabb

A thoroughly updated introduction to the current issues and challenges facing managers and administrators in the investor and publicly owned utility industry, this engaging volume addresses management concerns in five sectors of the utility industry: electric power, natural gas, water, wastewater systems and public transit.
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Chapter 14: Public utility management

David E. McNabb


This chapter is a brief introduction to some of the more important principles of management that utility operators, supervisors, and commission members need to understand and apply in public service management. It focuses on the open innovation model as appropriate for the public utility operating environment within which managers guide the utility’s activities. It includes an overview of the key constraints and universal principles that guide managers in carrying out their tasks. Management is the set of guiding activities taken by human actors to help others accomplish the many objectives of an organization. Public utility managers apply these activities to accomplish objectives in organizations engaged in providing a public service, including managing all actions relating to the organization’s franchise granted by some public body.

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