Public Utility Consulting

It is often observed that in the organization type “public utility company” various contradictions, conflicts of interest and to some extent paradoxes are part of the daily decision and coordination processes. Regarding its quality and frequency this can be encountered in just a few other organizations. These phenomena place special requirements both on the organization as a whole and also on the acting players.

Paradoxes in Public Utility Companies

Source: Own illustration based on Nagel & Glatzer, 2009, p. 34

Economic requirements, expected returns, and economic realities on the one hand – the special social and ecological responsibility on the other hand make it difficult to make a decision in favor of one or the other.

This challenge is aggravated by the fact that public utility companies and their employees are influenced by the municipal background being dominant in the past. Especially the liberalization in the energy sector increasingly confronted the companies with the business management logic in the recent years.

Challenges in dealing with stakeholders

Public utility companies are under special “surveillance” of the media and the focus of public attention. Furthermore, politics and supervisory boards strongly influence them, and due to the current political situation have a significant impact on the decision-making processes. When further shareholders or cooperation partners form the so-called “free economy” are brought into play paradoxes and conflicts of interests are inevitable. The involved management constellations are put to the test, which is not to be underestimated.

The paradoxes that public utility companies have to address continuously can be grouped around the tension between economical, social and ecological interests, goals and requirements. In this context, the key questions are usually: How can we succeed in the long run in balancing economical, ecological and social aspects when making decisions? And how can we succeed in managing the tension between the requirements of the external stakeholder groups?

Important questions

How can these paradoxes at hand be explained?

What is the deeper background?

Which explanatory models can be used?

And which conclusions can be drawn from the gained insights?

We would be pleased to show you a possible explanatory model in a personal and free online dialog.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our competent consulting team. Arrange an appointment for a free personal online dialog. For further information about the online dialog, please click here.