Management Challenges for the 21st Century
Chapter 2: Policy Challenges Facing Public Utilities
2. Policy challenges facing public utilities The range of the decision alternatives available to public utility managers is framed by the policies that exist at the time the decisions must be made. Public policy has been deﬁned as ‘an intentional course of action followed by a government institution or oﬃcial for resolving an issue of public concern’ (Cochran et al. 1996, p. 1). Two levels of policy guide public utility managers in their everyday organizational activities: internal and external. Internal policy includes the normal levels of organizational and management policies and procedures that shape the business enterprise. The vision of senior management and board of directors, the organization’s mission, its resources, and the existing organizational climate and culture form internal policy. External policy is a reﬂection of the environment that shapes and constraints the range of choices from which management policy may be selected. External policy is primarily formed by the inﬂuences resulting from the political and public-attitude environment of the period. Examples included tax policy, investment policy, antitrust policy, and the like. Public policy is not a static concept. Rather, the changing attitudes, intentions, and actions of governments and citizens that aﬀect society or a particular segment of a society continuously shape and modify public policy. There are many types of public policies, examples include a nation’s industrial, education, welfare, public safety, environmental, energy, water policies, and the like. Public policy also shapes the types of laws passed by federal, state, and local governments....
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