عملکرد پس از خصوصی سازی و تغییرات سازمانی : مطالعات موردی از غنا
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|368||2010||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Volume 21, Issue 5, July 2010, Pages 428–442
A significant number of less developed countries (LDCs), including Ghana, have embraced the World Bank/IMF led economic reforms. Ghana has been implementing these reforms since the early 1980. One of the conditions of the reforms is the privatization of former state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Such privatization activities have however generated debates among academics, practitioners, and policy makers. Research findings so far have been mixed. This paper analyzes the performance of two large privatized companies in Ghana. Both companies have been paraded by the Ghanaian authorities and the international financial community as success stories of privatization. Our objective is to examine how and why these firms have been claimed to be successful. Drawing on the dimensions of the balanced scorecard, we examine the performance of the firms from five main perspectives—financial, customers, internal business process, learning and growth, and the community. The analysis is based on data gathered from diverse sources, namely, semi-structured interviews and discussions with managers of the selected companies and with personnel from key government departments, and analysis of internal and external documents. We conclude that, overall the performance of both organizations improved after privatization under all the performance dimensions examined. These improvements were also accompanied by certain organizational changes, including changes in the accounting and control systems. However we are not claiming that all privatization programs in Ghana have been successful. In fact there are stories in the Ghanaian media of several other privatization failures in the country. Instead what we have demonstrated is the need to explain the performance of privatized firms beyond the myopic macro-level and financial analysis which has been widely adopted by the international financial community and policy makers and we encourage other researchers to adopt such multidimensional approaches.
The objective of this paper is to explain how and why the performance of some former state-owned enterprises (SOEs) improved after privatization. Privatization programs have been widely imposed on less developed countries (LDCs) by the World Bank, the IMF and other western donors as a condition for bailing out the ailing economies of these countries (Cook and Kirkpatrick, 1995, Kikeri et al., 1994, Uddin and Hopper, 1999, Uddin and Hopper, 2001 and Uddin and Hopper, 2003). It is argued that privatization will lead to better productive and allocative efficiencies (Boycko et al., 1996 and Dunleavy, 1986). Private enterprises are able to organize their factors of production to reduce production cost more efficiently than public enterprises. Private enterprises also have better rewards and incentive systems which are linked to economic performance and have a much clearer principal–agent relationship than public enterprises. Furthermore, the competition in the private sector enables private enterprises to be able to allocate resources more efficiently than public enterprises. As such privatized SOEs are subject to the discipline of the price mechanism through which inefficient activities may be eliminated (Rutherford, 1983). It is therefore assumed that productive and allocative efficiencies of SOEs would improve upon privatization (Adam et al., 1992, Hemming and Mansoor, 1988 and Vickers and Yarrow, 1985). Privatization was widely embraced in Ghana as part of the structural adjustment program (SAP) and was promoted by government officials as a panacea to the country's ailing economy (Appiah-Kubi, 2001). For example, the Head of Ghana's Civil Service in the 1980s commented that, “Ghana has chosen the privatization option as a means to revitalize its ailing state enterprises, so that they could operate more purposefully, contribute more to the national budget and generate employment” (West Africa, 1988, p. 87). Ghana's privatization program was hailed by the international financial community as one of the success stories on the continent. Such was the acclamation that the Fortune Magazine (2001, p. s9) published a feature article on Ghana's economic reforms (including its privatization policies) and noted that: “Ghana, and former President Rawlings in particular, were hailed as examples to be emulated across the continent”. Despite the lauds by policy makers and the international financial community, privatization has also been criticized in the Ghanaian media and by other groups in the country. An article published in one of the Ghanaian newspapers for example noted that: “Privatization could be a real beginning of quantifiable neo-colonialism”.1 Similarly, the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana (ICA) (1990, p. 17) observed that: “There is the need to recognize that the state has responsibility to its citizens and should not always look for maximization of profit”. The issue of whether privatization improves the performance of enterprises or not has thus always generated controversies in Ghana and in other LDCs. For example, recently Uddin and Hopper (2003) questioned the claim by the World Bank that Bangladesh's privatization has been successful. The authors found that only one out of the eleven privatized enterprises they have examined could be judged as commercial success. Wickramasinghe and Hopper (2005) found that performance in the enterprise they examined in Sri-Lanka improved after privatization, attributable partly to the adoption of commercial oriented budgeting practices. However their study revealed how the privatization subsequently failed due to problems of cultural asymmetry. Very few studies of this nature which focus on non-financial micro level analysis of privatized firms exist in LDCs (Uddin and Hopper, 2003; Wickramasinghe and Hopper, 2005), and even in the western world such studies are sparse (Carter and Mueller, 2006, Cole and Cooper, 2006, Letza and Smallman, 2001, Ogden, 1995a, Ogden, 1995b, Ogden, 1997 and Ogden and Anderson, 1999). The majority of the research on the outcome of privatization programs has thus tended to be financial-macro-level examining the impacts of privatization on the economy such as in terms of GDP and government revenue. For instance, a study on behalf of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) by Megginson and Bouchkoua (1999) used economic indicators to evaluate the outcome of privatization programs in 15 countries. Similarly, a study conducted by Bouton and Sumlinski (1997) and sponsored by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) on the impacts of privatization in developing countries based their analyses predominantly on financial indicators. The problem with this approach is that it is myopic and hence unable to explain the full impacts of privatization, especially at firm level. For most LDCs privatization is much more complicated due to a number of factors, which called for a multi-dimensional analysis of the outcomes of privatization programs. First, privatization is usually a condition imposed by the IMF, the World Bank and other Western donors on governments in LDCs (Uddin and Hopper, 2003). Second, the majority of the privatized firms in the LDCs are sold to foreign investors with minimal participation by indigenous investors (Prizzia, 2001). Third, there are inadequate regulatory structures and weak financial markets in most LDCs. Performance measures based on financial indicators alone (are thus likely to distort the real outcomes of privatization policies. Financial indicators may for instance be adequate in reporting to the parent company about the return on invested capital and hence the economic viability of the investments. Financial indicators may also be sufficient in satisfying the IMF and the World Bank in terms of the ability of the LDCs to pay back borrowed funds. However, these measures are inadequate in assessing the full impacts of privatization decisions on those that the privatization is intended to benefit in the first place. Financial profitability as reported in some studies (Boubraki and Jean-Cleade, 1998 and Megginson et al., 1994) may thus not be a good yardstick for measuring the performance of state enterprises, since the very objective of a state enterprise may be to promote social welfare and not to generate profit (Akinsanya, 1981). By focusing only on financial indicators therefore, the success or failure of privatization programs is viewed merely through one lens. The World Bank (2000) recently identified the need to re-focus post-privatization performance measures from the existing short-term financial orientation to that of a long-term qualitative analysis focusing on human, social and environmentally sustainable development. This argument has been supported by other researchers including Prizzia (2001) who argued for a balance of economic and social measures of performance. Based on the argument that the financial indicators may not reflect all aspects of performance of privatized enterprises, this paper evaluates the performance of two privatized SOEs in Ghana using a range of financial and non-financial measures. The indicators used are based on the balanced scorecard framework. However, we have added a fifth dimension to the original four dimensions of the balanced scorecard developed by Kaplan and Norton (1992). The five dimensions we used are financial, customers, internal business process, learning and growth, and the community. The key research question we address is: How has the privatization of these SOEs improved their performance from both financial and non-financial dimensions? The remainder of the paper is organized into five main sections. The five dimensions of performance we adopted are discussed in the next section. The methods used in gathering data (including a brief background of the case organizations) are then discussed in the section following this. After this, a brief discussion of Ghana's privatization process is provided. The performance of the firms is analyzed in the next section followed by a section on the organizational changes (including changes in the accounting and control systems). The final section provides concluding comments.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The objective of this paper as identified earlier is to analyze the performance of privatized companies using broad based indicators and to examine the organizational changes (including accounting) that occurred after privatization. We argued that traditional measures of performance, which centered mainly on profitability, are unsuitable for today's businesses, since they fail to capture all aspects of performance. Unfortunately the literature on post-privatization performance has been dominated by macro-level financial analysis. Drawing on the balanced scorecard framework, the paper analyzes the performance of two privatized companies in Ghana from five main perspectives—financial, customers, internal business process, learning and growth, and community. The balanced scorecard approach offers a much broader view of performance (Kaplan and Norton, 1992) than the myopic financial view that has dominated the literature. The study therefore addresses a major limitation in the literature by broadening the horizon of post-privatization performance analysis. The evidence we have provided shows that prior to their privatization these firms could not recover their full cost of production. Unlike the example from the UK water industry where there was emphasis on cost containment to the neglect of profitability under state control (Ogden and Anderson, 1999) in our case even cost containment was non-existent. There was no incentive for these companies to neither contain cost nor manage resources efficiently. These enterprises therefore became financial burden on the State. This has been the main reason put forward by the IMF/World Bank and other proponents of privatization to justify the need for Ghana and other LDCs to privatize their ailing state enterprise sector. The evidence we have provided supports the view that performance under state ownership was poor. Apart from the fact that similar to most SOEs these firms faced limited or no competition to strive for greater efficiency, they were also handicapped in attracting long-term capital for investment. There was thus inadequate capital for investment into research and modern plants in both organizations and this affected the ability of the firms to expand. There was support by the interviewees that post-privatization performance has significantly improved in both firms. The organizations were reconstructed and repositioned to give them a new image after privatization. This enabled them to improve efficiency in their service delivery, which has translated into superior financial performance. Since privatization, both firms have been undertaking market surveys on a regular basis. This shapes the focus of their research into the development and improvement of new and existing products/services. Research and development departments have been established by both companies. PC for instance has been perceived by the interviewees to have performed extremely well as far research and development is concerned. This is evident by the number of new products introduced since privatization. Whiles it has been suggested that privatization sometimes lead to decline in the quality of services (Ogden and Anderson, 1999) this was not the case in the firms we examined, where service quality has improved significantly. This was not surprising as these are not in industries which can be considered as essential utilities. It could be argued that these firms operate in industries in which the state shouldn’t have been in the first place. Our study therefore questioned some of the post-colonial policies where governments in LDCs participate in industries which could have been left to the private sector. Though retrenchment of workers is a major concern raised by critics of privatization, we found in our case that there was a significant increase in employment after privatization in both firms. A World Bank study on the impacts of privatization on labor force in Ghana also found that privatization increased employment in some privatized enterprises: In Ghana while there was some loss of jobs in the restructuring prior to privatization, privatized firms in a wide range of sectors increased employment: the Golden Tulip Hotel increased employment from 116 employees before privatization to 306 today; Tema Steel increased from 130 employees (many of whom were not gainfully employed under state ownership to 500 today; Gafco (the food complex) increased employment from 500 employees at the time of privatization to 1,600 today. In many of these cases the employees might not have had any jobs in the absence of privatization (Kikeri, 1998). Our research however has certain limitations. First, we decided to focus our study on only managers who have knowledge of the pre- and post-privatization performance of the company. This requires interviewing managers who were there before privatization and who are still working in the company. Unfortunately this reduced the number of people qualified to be interviewed as most employees that worked under state control had left the companies at the time of our research. The second limitation of the paper is that, the analysis is based on views obtained from only people working in the respective organizations. While we have attempted to corroborate their views with internal and external documentary evidence, a more useful approach would be to obtain the perceptions of people outside the respective organizations such as customers and former employees. Finally, our research is based on only two organizations. Both firms have been paraded by the government as successful cases of privatization. There is no doubt that the choice of the organizations has influenced the results. There are several cases of privatization failures reported in the Ghanaian media. Some of these companies have been liquidated. We were unable to get access to those that we considered unsuccessful and are still in operation at this stage. However this is a future line of research we intend to pursue.