Cultures of Strategy: Remaking the BBC, 1968-2003

Chris Carter, Alan McKinlay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This article explores the changes that took place in the BBC during the late 1980s and 1990s. The paper traces the antecedents to the changes, particularly a report prepared by McKinsey, the management consulting firm, in the early 1970s. Many of the problems identified by McKinsey were tackled a generation later, although using strikingly different methods from those advocated by the consulting firm. The second section of the paper focuses on the policy interventions made by the Peacock Committee, an application of public choice economics to broadcasting. A key insight of this paper is to explore the way in which the economic rationalities of the Peacock Committee were translated into the BBC through Producer Choice.

Producer Choice constituted a new form of governmentality that largely rejected the BBC's Reithian legacy. It was a radical initiative that delegitimised the status quo. The paper explores how new languages and accounting numbers constructed new spaces for managerialism across the BBC. The article highlights how calculation is a central dimension to managerialism and a prime means of bringing the market into organizations. A key insight of the paper is to highlight how markets are created within organizations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1228-1246
JournalBusiness History
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • managerialism
  • calculative practices
  • governmentality


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