Effective and efficient organisations? trade fair support in Germany and the UK from an organisational economics perspective
All industrial nations tty to encourage and increase their finns' foreign sales by offering them
government-funded export support services. But whereas the content of these services is strikingly
similar in all countries, their delivery organisations differ.
1bis thesis is concerned with the consequences of these organisational differences for the
services' effectiveness and efficiency. Does organisation matter at all? Is one organisation more
effective and efficient than another? On the assumption that the answers to these questions are
positive, several governments have re-structured their export services' organisations over the past
decade. However, for academics the questions have remained open.
In an attempt to contribute to the understanding of organisations' impact on effectiveness
and efficiency, this thesis develops a model of the cause-effect links between 'organisation' and
'outputs', using organisational economics. The model provides the conceptual framework for
analysing the Gennan and the British trade fair support services. The thesis presents detailed
infonnation about the service delivery in both countries, and about the different actors involved
Using a pattern-matching technique, on the basis of the model, it is predicted what outputs the
described organisations would produce, if the postulated cause-effect relationships were correct.
These predictions are compared with the available evidence on the organisations' actual outputs.
The infonnation is drawn from a wide range of sources, including: interviews with key decisionmakers,
government publications, and trade fair databases.
Apart from offering the first detailed picture of the British and Gennan trade fair support
organisations, the research presents evidence for the proposed cause-effect relationship between
organisation and outputs: Organisation matters for both the effectiveness and the efficiency of the
trade fair support services' delivery because it affects the knowledge and incentives of the actors,
and the adaptability of the organisational structures. The evidence also suggests that there are tradeoffs
between these variables, and that institutions play an important role in shaping organisational
choices and outputs. One organisation may be different from, but equally effective and efficient as,
The findings help to explain why, despite many years of re-structuring public sector service
delivery, no panacea for 'effective and efficient' organisation has been found They also suggest the
critical angles, from which existing organisations and blueprints of 'better' organisations should be
examined; thus enabling conclusions about their improvability, and about the potential implications
of proposed changes, to be drawn.