Making a Hybrid Out of a Crisis: London Transport 1913 - 1947

The Management and Marketing Group at the Essex Business School warmly invites you to join the first seminar of the Management and Marketing Research Seminar Series.

  • Wed 19 Feb 20

    13:00 - 14:00

  • Colchester Campus


  • Event speaker

    Dr James Fowler, Lecturer in Management, University of Essex

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Management and Marketing Group Research Seminar Series

  • Event organiser

    Essex Business School

  • Contact details

    Dr Atika Kemal

The aim of this seminar is to examine the rationales for an international inter-war trend to create 'Hybrid' organisations as public service providers through a historical case study. The seminar will also briefly discuss archival methodology.

Seminar Abstract

This presentation examines the rationales for an international inter-war trend to create hybrid organisations as public service providers through a historical case study of the creation of London Transport in 1933.

Literature from the period and the present day primarily ascribes the motive for creating of these public-private monopolies to the search for financial and managerial efficiencies.

However, by applying accounting ratios to the archival records from the interwar period this presentation finds that in this instance there were no decisive efficiencies or benefits gained from amalgamation.

In searching for an alternative rationale, it shows that what was notable at the time was a brief but destructive and chaotic level of bus competition by small scale private operators.

It is proposed that this crisis set the political conditions for acceptance of the need for a hybrid monopoly in transport. As such, this presentation argues for hybrid organisation form as an expedient individual political outcome rather than a product of formal economic cost-benefit analysis or other categorical prescription.


The seminar is free to attend and there is no need to book in advance. Feel free to bring along your friends, colleagues and classmates.

Speaker bio

Dr James Fowler joined the University of Essex in 2019 as a Lecturer in Management.

He was previously an Associate Lecturer at the University of York and a regular Officer in the Armed Forces where he held a series of appointments in the Educational and Training Services Branch. James's mainstream teaching work covered modules on;

  • management and leadership 
  • military analysis of strategy
  • international relations
  • cognitive bias

Other related work included advising on the design and delivery of promotional courses for the Royal Engineers and for some foreign Armed Forces.

He also had significant engagement with language teaching in the UK and the Middle East, serving as head of the language wing at the Defence College of Intelligence and Security.

James has completed a PGCE in Further Education and an MSc in Education Practice and Innovation. His PhD and subsequent research interests focus on the finance, governance and leadership of organisations in a historical context.

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