An Executive Looks At- Private Enterprise and Public Needs

by Victor Palmieri



The article presents a perspective on the business environment with the focus on the relationship between the roles of government and private sector in maintaining the environment. The tendency of private enterprise to grow by serving essential public needs and thereby to take on the character of public enterprise has implications and possibilities of the most profound significance for the society. To grasp these implications, it is necessary to bring into focus certain other trends or forces that are in motion within the political and economic systems. These trends include the development of a sense of national purpose, the development of a sense of national responsibility, the steadily widening gap between accepted public purposes or goals and the operational capabilities of public agencies. There is also consideration of new principles which might inform the public institutions of a society seeking to pursue a process of ordered change. The principles include fundamental premises of a free market economy, competition is a stimulus to enterprise and efficiency and, thereby, promotes the public interest, a preemptive or monopoly position impairs the public interest and, finally, that the customer's freedom to select among suppliers of the same product or service is the most effective restraint on price and the greatest incentive for quality.

California Management Review

Berkeley-Haas's Premier Management Journal

Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

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