This researcher’s interest in the topic was aroused after reading several news articles on “the biggest turnaround in UK corporate history”, accounts on how a former supermarket executive and a former head of the English Football Association rescued a business firm by converting £318 million in losses into a £540 million profit, sacking 30,000 staff, closing 2,500 branches, and improving service efficiency. The firm was the Royal Mail, Britain’s government-owned, 350-year old postal services monopoly that had record revenues and profits after three years of corporate restructuring. As a positive sign of the turnaround, the government announced that it would allow full competition in postal services by January 2006, a year ahead of schedule, in time for full EU market liberalisation by January 2009. Aside from learning that what seemed as a dreary business such as postal services is an exciting field, what was intriguing to the researcher was understanding the strategic management issues faced by the government and Royal Mail: full EU liberalisation, the effects of globalisation on the postal services sector, and the pros and cons of privatisation. More intriguing is knowing that the government and Royal Mail acted on these strategic issues, prompting this researcher to investigate and discover how these strategic issues became the bases for their subsequent management decisions and actions.
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