Advertisement

Public Organization Review

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 237–257 | Cite as

Integration and Autonomy in Organizational Governance: A Comparative Study of Two Government-Owned Railways in Hong Kong

  • Rikkie L. K. Yeung
Article
  • 190 Downloads

Abstract

This article identifies the patterns of integration and autonomy in organizational governance in two government-owned railways in Hong Kong in relation to relevant external and internal actors from the government, market and civil society. The Kowloon Canton Railway Corporation, a government department turned into a statutory corporation, and the Mass Transit Railway Corporation Limited, a statutory corporation turned into a listed company, are both profitable enterprises. They have been subjected to similar macro-governance influences (mainly political and policy changes), but their patterns of integration and autonomy with relevant actors in organizational governance are not the same. The historical variations in the integration-autonomy patterns, notably an increased tendency for government intervention, as well as major differences between the two railways in their relationships with market and civil society actors, can often be explained by three interrelated factors, namely, political conditions, community expectations and performance.

Key words

Integration Autonomy Governance Statutory bodies Government-owned enterprises Organizational governance Public transport Railways 

References

  1. Au, L. K. R. 2005. The governance of government-owned railway organisations in Hong Kong: Integration and autonomy in changing times. Ph.D Thesis. Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  2. Barron, B., Ng, S. K.-w., & Kwok, V. M.-c. 2001. Financing mass transit railways: An international survey. Hong Kong: Civic Exchange.Google Scholar
  3. Barron, B., Ng, S. K.-w., Loh, C., & Gilbert, R. 2002. Sustainable transport in Hong Kong: Directions and opportunities. Hong Kong: Civic Exchange.Google Scholar
  4. Cheung, A. B. L. 2002. The changing political system: Executive-led government or “disabled” governance?” In Lau, S. K. (Ed.). The first Tung Chee-hwa administration, the first five years of the Hong Kong special administrative region. Hong Kong: The Chinese University of Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  5. Chin, H.-C. 1998. Urban transport planning in Singapore. In Yuen, B. (Ed.). Planning Singapore: From plan to implementation. Singapore: Singapore Institute of Planners.Google Scholar
  6. Choi, B. 1981. Keeping track of rail system. South China Morning Post, April 30.Google Scholar
  7. Finance Branch 1989. Public sector reform: A sharper focus. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Government.Google Scholar
  8. Government Information Services (GIS) 2002. Operator award for the Shatin to Central link & feasibility study of railway merger. Press release. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (HKSARG), 25 June.Google Scholar
  9. GIS 2004. 2 railway corporations invited to start talks on possible merger. Press release, Hong Kong: HKSARG, 24 February.Google Scholar
  10. Goodstadt, L. 2005. Uneasy partners: Public interest and private profits. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Hon, M. S.-M. 2001. Tung urges railways to reconsider fare rises. South China Morning Post (SCMP), June 21.Google Scholar
  12. Hong Kong Economic Times 2002. Open image in new window (Tung prescribes a heavy dosage but (the property market recession) still continues two months more), November 14.Google Scholar
  13. Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (HKSARG) 2000. MTR privatisation share offer. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Government.Google Scholar
  14. Interviews 2002. Face-to-face interviews with former MTRC executives.Google Scholar
  15. Interviews 2002–2003a. Face-to-face interviews with several KCRC executives from various departments and of different length of service.Google Scholar
  16. Interviews 2002–2003b. Face-to-face interviews with relevant government officials.Google Scholar
  17. Kooiman, J. 2002. State, market and society: Interdependencies and Interpenetrations. Paper presented at the International Research Symposium on Public Sector Management, VI Edinburgh on 8–9 April.Google Scholar
  18. Kowloon–Canton Railway Corporation Ordinance, Chapter 372, 1982. Hong Kong Laws.Google Scholar
  19. KCRC 1983–2004. Kowloon–Canton railway corporation annual report, 1983–2004. Hong Kong: KCRC.Google Scholar
  20. Lam, S. H. 1995. The evolution of strategies for MTRC of Hong Kong, master of business administration dissertation. Hong Kong: The University of Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  21. Legislative Council (LegCo) 2002. Legislative Council panel on transport subcommittee on matters relating to the implementation of railway development project, Minutes of Meeting on 22 July 2002. Google Scholar
  22. Mass Transit Railway Corporation Ordinance, Chapter 270, 1975 (repealed), Hong Kong Laws.Google Scholar
  23. MTRC 1980–2004. Mass transit railway corporation annual report, 1980–2004. Hong Kong: MTRC.Google Scholar
  24. Peres, L. 1969. Resurrection of autonomy: Organisation theory and the statutory corporation. Public Administration (Sydney), 27(3): 360–369, 4 December.Google Scholar
  25. Public Transport Council website 2004. http://www.ptc.gov.sg.aboutus.html.
  26. SBS Transit website 2004. http://www.sbstransit.com.sg.
  27. Scott, I. 2000. The disarticulaton of Hong Kong’s post-handover political system. China Journal, January 2000.Google Scholar
  28. Seidman, H. 1983. Need for new theory. International Review of Administrative Science, 49(1): 65–72.Google Scholar
  29. Singapore Government, Ministry of Transport 1996. White paper: A world class land transport system.Google Scholar
  30. Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (SMRT) website 2004. http://www.smrtcopr.com.
  31. South China Morning Post 1990. MTR top in public transport, says poll. 23 March.Google Scholar
  32. Thynne, I. 1991. Transformation of public enterprises: Changing patterns of ownership, accountability and control. In Ng, C.-y., & Wagner, N. (Eds.). Marketization in ASEAN. Singapore: ASEAN Economic Research Unit, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.Google Scholar
  33. Thynne, I. 1995. Basic concepts and issues. In Thynne (Ed.). Corporatisation, divestment and the public-private mix selected country studies. Hong Kong: Asian Journal of Public Administration in collaboration with International Association of Schools and Institute of Administration.Google Scholar
  34. Thynne, I. 1997. Hong Kong’s Kowloon–Canton railway corporation and its golden handshake affair. Asian Journal of Public Administration, 19(1): 142–156, June 1997.Google Scholar
  35. Thynne, I. 1998. ‘One country’ or ‘two systems’? Integration and autonomy in perspective. In Scott, I. (Ed.). Institutional change and the political transition in Hong Kong. New York: St. Martin’s.Google Scholar
  36. Wettenhall, R. 1985. Acworth, Attlee and now: One hundred years of debate about public enterprise–government relations. Political Science (Wellington), 37(2): 125–139.Google Scholar
  37. Vigar, G. 2002. The politics of mobility: Transport, the environment, and public policy. London: Spon.Google Scholar
  38. Yeung, R. L. K. 2005. Public enterprise governance: KCR corporation and its governance controversies. Public Management Review, 7(4): 565–587, December 2005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rikkie L. K. Yeung
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Hong KongHong KongChina

Personalised recommendations