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Privatisation is a word which is becoming more frequently used in our society as more and more Governments adjust to the effects of ‘balancing a budget’.

Privatisation can and does take many forms. These being the sale of state owned assets, the restructuring of state run businesses and the public private partnership in order to build facilities.

Privatisation is seen by many ‘men in the street’ as a ploy by the government of the day to rid them of their jobs. Unfortunately this perception has evolved due to the very nature of state and government owned institutions and services. Many public services are a necessity and are invariable at the mercy of their own size and inefficiencies’ examples of these types of organisations are the public transport sector which by it’s very nature struggles to be efficient and cost effective. However the alternatives are often worse than the business or organisation that they set out to replace.

Privatisation by it’s very nature is a controversial and often misunderstood cathphrase which inverably has detractors on both sides of the fence. However this need not be the case.

Privatisation of non core governmental assets and business addressed on a regular basis can highlight the direction that governments may be heading in and can in some instances prevent duplication and competitiveness in the market place.

As is common practice in business circles from time to time organisations buy assets or businesss and also similarly from time to time a restructuring of the business is undertaken and assets and businesses are on sold. This is not necessarily a sign of failure by the business but rather seen as a re-alignment with the businesses core undertakings.

Similarly, Governments should re-look at their core business and re-asses the type of business that they have in their portfolio.

However one must also remember that when a business is restructured or privatised, there is a social and moral obligation to look after the staff within these organisations and this can take the from of many different approches to the restructuring or privatisation process.

We have outlined our thoughts on this process through our experience in privatisation projects which we have undertaken.

Before we begin we would like to take this opportunity to indulge our readers with a brief outline of our interpretation of what

management’ and the ingredients of ‘managing a business’

especially participatory management entails


Management is a key ingredient.  The Manager ‘makes’ or ‘breaks’ a business!

There are three key areas to management:-     Production

Definition of management

According to the Websters new collegiate dictionary © 1979

Man – age – ment / man – ij – mant / n

  1. The act or art of managing: the conducting or supervising of something.  (as a business).
  2. Judicious use of means to accomplish an end.

(Websters new collegiate dictionary © 1979)

The second part of this definition is similar to a definition of economics, which is often described as ‘the study of the allocation of scarce resources’.  These definitions of management and economics imply or require the identification of goals and objectives, the existing of limited resources and the need to allocate these limited resources among a number of alternative uses.  Implicit in these definitions is the need for decision making in the proper allocation of scarce resources.

Common management rolls include:-

  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Co-ordinating
  • Controlling
  • Directing
  • Supervising
  • Communicating
  • Implementing

We would like to adopt the following strategy:-

Management is the decision making process whereby limited resources are allocated to a number of production alternatives to organize and operate the business in such a way as to attain the objectives as set out.