The British Council: Economics, Finance and Management

Management policy


The management sector, as defined by the British Council, encompasses management in the private, public, non-governmental and small business sectors.

The Council's work focuses on areas of excellence in management practice in the UK, policy issues to encourage effective management, and management education and development.

UK capability in the sector

Britain is a world leader in management education and training.
Key strengths are:

Experience of public sector reform and the 'New Public Management'

The UK is recognised internationally as one of the leading and pioneering models of public sector reform. It has a strong track record in the innovative and quality management of service delivery eg. in health and local government. The UK's willingness to admit mistakes, as well as pointing out successes, is particularly appreciated by partners overseas.

The UK also has a long-accumulated knowledge of other countries' practices and is a leader among developed countries in the strength of its capacity to understand, analyse and propose approaches in other national contexts.

Experience of the role played by business and the private sector

Wide-ranging UK experience in this field is an excellent reference point. Issues include: boundaries between the public and private sector; the role of enterprise in the economy; corporate governance; the relationship of business to stakeholders such as shareholders, customers, workforce and suppliers; and the social responsibilities of business.

Sponsors' objectives

Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)

To work for a stable and peaceful international order characterised by good government; to promote UK economic interests; to assist pluralism and sustainable economic and social development; to promote the influence and prestige of the UK

The Council's management work contributes to the FCO's world-wide priority of good government. It also targets decision-makers of the future, in both the public and private sector, and contributes to the export promotion of British goods and services.

Department for International Development (DfID)

Management is relevant to two of the DfID's four aims:

An important part of the DfID's strategy to enhance productive capacity is supporting the acquisition of skills and know-how by managers in both public and private sectors, as well as the promotion of the private sector including small business development.

The British Council's work in management contributes to the DfID's priorities of good government (through public sector and Non-Government Organisation management). It also enhances productive capacity through private sector management and small business development.

British Council objectives in management

To gain influence and commercial benefit for Britain and to enhance the development of other countries by promoting British excellence in management

To increase Britain's share of the international market in education, training and consultancy for management and business.

To ensure that the UK is seen as one of the leading exponents of:

British Council resources in management


Providing managers, trainers, consultants and academics of the countries in which the Council works with access to policy developments in the human resources field so they can strengthen the management and training capabilities of their managers.

Giving countries access to the UK's experience in public sector management in ways which are both appropriate and useful for their own reform and change-management programmes.

Contributing British expertise to the policy debate on the role of business and the private sector relative to the government and other stakeholders in society.

Showcasing British best practice in management and business education, training and development.

Doing all the above across gender and sector boundaries.

Means of delivery

Professional management expertise at British Council Headquarters includes one consultant post in Management and two staff in private sector development. In country offices, there is increasing local recruitment of management professionals. A management Network has been formed to update overseas staff on developments in UK managment.

The Council's combination of UK and local staff overseas enables it to access UK expertise in ways which are relevant to country contacts and the local context. The Council is seen as an independent gateway to the whole breadth of the UK management resource.

The Council's independent and semi-official status provides credibility within non-government organisations, and the public and private sectors. This facilitates working partnerships between them.

A regional network of offices, libraries and information services overseas, including public access buildings and responsive information services.

The capability to package various types of overseas initiatives and influence alternative sources of external funding.

Please send questions and comments on this policy paper to:

Consultant (Management)
The British Council
Manchester M15 4AA







Produced in Britain by the British Council
© The British Council 1997

The British Council, registered in England as a charity no. 209131, is the United Kingdom's
international network for education, culture and development services.