research@hec - Issue #13 - (Page VI)

Major Risks and Public Management research Romain Laufer BIOGRAPHY Romain Laufer is professor in the Marketing Department at HEC Paris. He is member of the editorial committee of the journal Politiques et Management Public (Policies and Public Management) and the scientific board of the Collège International de Philosophie. He is coauthor of Marketing Democracy (Transaction Books, 1990) and Les nouvelles fondations de la gestion (The New Foundations of Marketing; Vuibert, FNEGE Collection, 2nd edition, 2008). Public or private? To see this distinction clearly, we can refer to the least contestable definition in democratic societies such as ours—the law. In France, the history of administrative law makes it possible to define unequivocal, historic boundaries between public and private domains. Three periods are commonly distinguished. The period from 1800 to 1880-1900 marked the reign of public power, the “Etat Gendarme” (a state with duties limited to the police, national defense, and the courts). From 1880-1900 to 1945-1969 was dominated by the criterion of public service—the “Welfare State.” The period since 1945-1960 marks a crisis in criteria, corresponding to a crisis in the nationstate, and the growing difficulty of legitimating public action. Public management originated during the early 1970s, in the context of a crisis in Western institutions and uncertainties about the boundaries for every company. Management has become a “political” science. between “private” and “public.” Today, the development of major risks THE BLOCKAGE OF “VILLE NOUVELLE EST” Consider the planning controversy surrounding the “Ville nouvelle Est” (New East City), by its essence a matter of the common good. In 1966, the government planned to create a new city to the east of Lille. This vast project was declared a public utility—a claim contested by a residents’ association on grounds that it would lead to the demolition and expropriation of more than a hundred dwellings. The Conseil d’Etat (Administrative State Council) and uncertainties of all kinds makes public management indispensable hec A PAROXYSM OF CONFUSION Today, examples abound of managerial situations where public and private logics are mixed. Companies make institutional communication a strategic priority, and carefully maintain their reputation by proclaiming their good governance and responsible practices. They “call on the public as a witness,” each day bringing forth a new crop of public management actions. The most illustrative example is the recent conflict between EADS and Boeing over competition rules for tender offers to manufacture American airrefuelling tanker planes. As for the public sector… ruled in their favor, declaring that the negative impact of a public utility operation—on private property, financial costs, and possible disturbances to the social order—must not exceed its benefits. This decision blurred the boundary between public and private, setting forth a jurisprudential precedent: the theory of cost-benefit balancing, which imported managerial logic into the legal sphere. Around the same time, in a similar case, the manifest error of evaluation theory (manifest for public opinion) allowed judges to do what in principle they could not—make judgments based on discretion, and not only on law. This reasoning leads to the incursion of marketing logic into public policy. VI research@hec • February-March 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of research@hec - Issue #13

Cover & Contents
Trailing a Scent: Does Age Affect Perfume Brand Loyalty?
When the Going Gets Tough,Who Can You Trust?
Major Risks and PublicManagement
Excellence in Finance Research at HEC Paris

research@hec - Issue #13