BBC producer choice and the management of organisational change
Producer Choice was the title given to the trading system, designed around an internal market, which was introduced at the BBC in the years between 1991 and 1994. The initiative represented the biggest organisational change in the BBC's history. The political background to Producer Choice was conditioned by the perceived need of the BBC to ensure renewal of its ten-year Charter in 1996. Producer Choice helped to secure Charter Renewal because it provided the means whereby new accountability and cost measurements were set in place. The 'command economy' of the old BBC was to be replaced with an internal market, and the organisation given an enhanced managerial focus. Using a combination of participant observation, semi-structured interviews, an analysis of all relevant documentation, and the application of theory concerning processual models of change, the nature of bureaucracy, changes in public sector management and the shift from hierarchy to marketisation, the thesis answers three questions: What is Producer Choice? How has it been implemented? What have been its outcomes? The thesis concludes by drawing out some analytical generalisations about the management of change regarding the 'process of sanctification', the effects of divisionalisation on organisational cohesion, and the characteristics of internal markets.