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The colonisation of strategy: Financialisation in a post-privatisation context

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Chris Carter


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This paper aims to contribute to the debate about strategy-making within changing institutional environments. We use an indicative case, that of a privatised Regional Electricity Company CoastElectric, to illustrate our argument. After privatisation, a space was opened up that was gradually ‘colonised’ by the consulting arms of the Big 5, the Regulator and the City. The case study is particularly illuminating in that within the space of a few years there was a sharp volte-face in the strategy making by the organization. Broadly speaking, this can be characterised first by a shift towards a ‘market based, diversification’ approach which, after a few years, was followed by a shift to a ‘core capability’ approach. In each case, senior managers could plausibly argue for the necessity of the strategy adopted in terms of satisfying the expectations of the new, colonising stakeholders.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Carter C, Mueller F

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Critical Perspectives on Accounting

Year: 2006

Volume: 17

Issue: 8

Pages: 967-985

ISSN (print): 1045-2354

ISSN (electronic): 1095-9955

Publisher: Academic Press


DOI: 10.1016/


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