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Public and Private Ownership of British Industry 1820–1990$
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James Foreman-Peck and Robert Millward

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198203599

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198203599.001.0001

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Networks in Perspective

Networks in Perspective

(p.340) 11 Networks in Perspective
Public and Private Ownership of British Industry 1820–1990

James Foreman-Peck

Robert Millward

Oxford University Press

Privatisation is only the latest policy implemented towards network technology industries. Their system characteristics place a premium on ‘interconnection’, integration, and compatibility. Competition in the construction of networks therefore tended to entail duplication and/or fragmentation. Operation of networks encouraged co-ordination, co-operation, and monopoly rather than competition. Furthermore, accounting for a proportion of the national capital stock and efficient operation of network industries was crucial for the performance of the British economy. This book prefers the term ‘network technology’ industries because the concept captures a key common feature of these industries that accounts for the emergence of monopoly but does not carry any policy implications. By focusing on distribution networks, this chapter explains patterns of industry evolution as well as understanding why some industrial policies were more effective than others.

Keywords:   privatisation, network technology industries, monopoly, national capital stock, economy, distribution networks, industry evolution, industrial policies

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