INTERATIONAL SOCIETY FOR POVERTY ELIMINATION ECONOMIC ALLIANCE GROUP
Achieving AAAA, SDG and COP21 Outcome Document Vision and Words with Action Agenda by 2030 in 306/193 Member States – Part 16
Commentary on National Bureau of Economic Research, NBER Working Paper Series – Management as a Technology? And A New Approach to an Age-Old Problem: Solving Externalities by Incenting Workers Directly, June 2016
The National Bureau of Economic Research, NBER is a private, non profit organization established almost 100 years ago. NBER provides information that is comprehensive, accurate and current to anyone seriously interested in economic and business affairs. The kinds of economic intelligence NBER provides involves concepts that had to be formulated and clarified. To be most useful, the measurable facts had to be quantified. To be able to reason from the facts, one had to explore their relationship to one another. Because no facts or relationships among facts can ever be more than approximate, margins of error had to be assessed. And the need for care in inferring the portent of even the most rigorous analysis of available facts had to be conveyed to their users. The NBER had over the years to date effectively played its role in shouldering these tasks and drawing others into the cooperative ventures to carry them out. Five precepts were formulated to guide the NBER when it was established in 1920:-
1. Its research should concentrate on facts and the connections among facts that are important in dealing with major problems of economic policy.
2. The knowledge sought should be quantitative in character, wherever possible
3. The research should be in accordance with scientific principles
4. The research should be done and findings made known under auspices and with safeguards that would assure the public of their impartiality
5. To this end and in particular the Bureau should carefully abstain from making recommendations on policy.
A Tall Order indeed - Then as now, opinions on what to do about community, country and global economic problems – not only in the US but also in every UN Member State, were / are difficult to keep to oneself. While the founders of the Bureau differed strongly among themselves about what economic policy should be, they all believed that, wherever possible, social programs should rest on objective knowledge of fact and not on subjective impressions and that the range of such possibilities could be enlarged by scientific knowledge. They knew well enough that facts alone, however firm, could not settle all their own differences on policy or the many differences of others. But at least the differences might be narrowed; thinking in public discussions might be clearer and the discussions might take place on a “higher level”. NBER as the “bold experiment on uncertain issue” has indeed been worth the gamble.
As 3rd quarter 2016 Year of Implementation race to end, it is worrisome that fundamental issues that ought to have been resolved by end 1st quarter 2015 Year of Decision are still outstanding and may remain outstanding beyond 2016 if Policy Makers, Decision Makers and Senior Management do not jointly face new direction and adopt new priorities. It is clear that the NBER founding precepts have central role to play if Policy Makers, Decision Makers, Senior Management and relevant Partners are to pick up the gauntlet and grapple effectively with challenges and crises of World Sustainable development.
It is clear that the 17 Goals of the SDGs are indivisible; that the SDGs involve both Developed and Developing Countries; that the SDG is the most all inclusive, all embracing and ambitious Overarching World Sustainable Development Agenda; that there are huge research and knowledge gaps that need to be filled as without further delay and that Community to Global Stakeholders continuing to deploy multiple approaches rather than adopt One Worldwide Approach (not one cap fit all) is counterproductive.
It is against this background that we wish to comment on two NBER Working Papers:
Management as a Technology
The Paper identifies 3 Management Models – Management as a Technology; Management as Design and Management as Capital. Our study finding is that the 3 Models are not mutually exclusive and could in reality be integrated into a single 3 in 1 Model, that is, Management as a Technology, Design and Capital Model.
In the work towards achieving increasing convergence between Global Goals – AAAA, SDG, COP21 and Agenda 21 aligned and harmonized with Community Development Plans and Country Development Plans in each of 306/193 UN Member States and by 2030 target date; there is urgent need to effectively tackle failure of Diplomacy linked to failure of Development, Defense, Democracy and Elections and this would involve deploying several Master Keys – one of which is Management as a Technology, Design and Capital Model.
Yes, we agree that the culture of an Institution or Country affects the Productivity and Quality of its Management. However, if the High Level Political Will is there, there is no reason why any Institution or Country with Bad Culture and therefore bad Management Productivity and Quality cannot change for best to institutionalize Good Culture that now deliver Good Management Productivity and Quality. This is not just a Developing Countries problem, it is also a Developed Countries problem and this includes the US that is grappling with challenges of bankrupt Local Governments, State Governments and even the National Government should the US$ be uncoupled from the World $.
The point we are making is that changing from Bad to Good Culture is a Competences issue – Hard Competences: Learning and Skills and Soft Competences: Character, Courage and Mindset within a Changing Attitude and Behaviour at Scale Policy, Program, Project Intervention, 3PI and 3PI Training as One Intervention. It is not just a Developing Countries problem, its problem that is context specific in Developed Countries, Developing Countries , National Institutions and International Institutions.
A New Approach to an Age-Old Problem: Solving Externalities by Incenting Workers Directly
This Paper is a study report on a field experiment carried out at Virgin Atlantic Airways to explore how information and incentives affect Captains’ performance. The authors found that their set of improvements which included performance information, personal targets and prosocial incentives – induced captains to improve efficiency in all three areas – pre flight, in flight and post flight. The cost of running the experiments were very low US$ 3,000 to send out a couple of letters (this is not the total cost of the experiment) and the cost savings estimated at US$250 per metric tonne of CO2 abatement – that saved 6,828 tons of fuel for Virgin Atlantic Airways worth GB Pounds 3.3 million (pre Brexit value much higher) and prevented emission of 21,507 tons of CO2 to the atmosphere delivers significant value for money and fitness for purpose – even when the total cost of the experiment was factored in.
In negotiating the experiment Model with the Union and other Stakeholders, it was agreed that the experiment would focus exclusively on behavioural incentives and not financial incentives. With this encouraging result, stakeholders should have courage to upgrade the experiment Model to focus on integrated behavioural incentives, financial incentives, deterrent incentives and sanctions incentive. This is not as difficult as it sounds once fundamental issues of ownership, accountability, alignment, harmony etc are addressed at the onset within well designed and delivered Changing Attitude and Behaviour at Scale Policy, Program, Project Intervention, 3PI and 3PI Training as One Intervention.
The reality of Brexit is that Policy Makers and Decision Makers on UN Member States; UN System – UNO, WBG and IMF; CSOs’/NGOs and Partners sides need to more seriously consider how to deploy Globalization as Force for Good; Lobbying as Force for Good and Multi Stakeholder Platforms, MSPs as Force for Good, if our World is to avoid Global Recession that make that of 1930s’ child’s play. In 2008 World Leaders came up with Fire Brigade solutions that postponed such Global Recessions though addressing Symptoms rather than Disease and root causes. In the past 8 years the disease has gone worse and so Fire Brigade in this era of Britext is most unlikely to work.
It is clear that without finding clear and correct answers to AAAA, SDG, COP21, Agenda 21 aligned and harmonized with Community Development Plans and Country Development Plans in 306/193 UN Member States How questions, especially DOING of How, it will be especially difficult to resolve the Britext Challenge and in ways that deliver Stronger UK and Europe, and Stronger US and World.
The NBER’s work in almost 100 years provide evidence that where MSPs that include all relevant Stakeholders are given Official Status; where Ideas Creators are meaningfully involved in the implementation of their ideas harvested in Community / Sub-national / Sub-regional / Regional / Global Consultations, our World can indeed be Configured in ways that find sustainable solutions to real complex problems and politically sensitive issues on the ground from Community to Global levels. It is our hope that the bright prospects of success will not be squandered. Otherwise, the ultimate consequences could be catastrophic.
We are willing to offer a more detailed information / clarification on any of the points made in this Paper.
International Society for Poverty Elimination / Economic Alliance Group
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Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 20 July 2016.