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Principal agents, representatives, trading practices and clients in the Greek environment

Written by Panagiotis Karkatsoulis on .

 Translated by Anastasia Thoma

pressThe problematics

Reviewing recently the literature on the principal-agent problem I recalled the journalists’ recent protest when they accused the Minister of Economy that he threatened to unilaterally change their contractual relationship to the public sector. Here is the Greek example, I thought: the agent breaks the company agreement without common understanding- what do we need witnesses for in order to highlight yet another Greek oddity?

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Riding a shopping cart on the “information lanes”

Written by Panagiotis Karkatsoulis on .

 Translated by Anastasia Thoma

cart

At the Court of Appeal, looking at the shopping cart loaded with heavy court files in clothbound folders, I thought of the widely spread bubbles of the previous decades about a “digital Greece”. Most of the so-called reformers have been degraded either to failed amateurs or to small-time hustlers, leaving the computing market to retailers without a strategy or a vision.

Today, with the comeback of the much-used catchphrases of the second and third Community Support Frameworks, those who use them had better leave the “information lanes” and think of ways to move from the current dirt roads and the tired horses trudging on them to an even slightly better work field.

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On “loyalty” and “civic society” (on the occasion of the loss of A. Hirschmann)

Written by Panagiotis Karkatsoulis on .

Translated from Greek by Anastasia Thoma

face

The author of «Exit, Voice and Loyalty» who passed away recently was one of the greatest ethical philosophers of the twentieth century.

While young he fought for democracy in the Spanish civil war and helped rescue many French citizens from Nazi persecution. Drawing from these experiences he brought to the USA, along with other bright minds, the idea of a way of organization other than pure (hardcore) capitalism or the Hobbesian concept of the sovereign state: civic society.

He established the view that progress is the result of a productive intensity between private interests and civic society. Ranging from exit to loyalty, behaviors of nations, organizations and subjects are formed responding to pressing situations. Disagreement between members of the organization has added value. Such disagreements are connected to efforts to change things, and this alternative appears as a third option. The disagreement enriches the sense of mutuality since it incorporates a critical attitude to the puristic alternatives of full agreement or rejection.

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"Αξιολόγηση με το ζόρι": Μία ακόμα ψηφίδα στην μεταρρυθμιστική κόπωση

Written by Παναγιώτης Καρκατσούλης on .

There are no translations available.

targetΗ τρέχουσα συζήτηση περί αξιολογήσεως δομών και ανθρώπων του δημοσίου παρουσιάζει ενδιαφέρον τόσο για τη θεωρία της αξιολόγησης όσο και για την πρακτική της στην Ελλάδα: Πρόκειται  για «αξιολόγηση-με-το-ζόρι». Κυβέρνηση και δανειστές υποστηρίζουν ότι στην Ελλάδα των πελατειακών δικτύων δεν υπάρχει άλλος τρόπος αποδοχής της πέραν της βίαιης ενσωμάτωσής της.

Οι κοινωνικές ομάδες που «πρέπει- να- αξιολογηθούν» απορρίπτουν την αξιολόγηση, εκτιμώντας ότι αποτελεί πρόσχημα περαιτέρω μέτρων λιτότητας, ενώ δέχονται την αξιολόγηση ως τμήμα μιας έλλογης δημόσιας πολιτικής. Σύμφωνα μ’ έναν τυπικό ορισμό της αξιολόγησης, αυτή ορίζεται ως «η διαδικασία εκείνη, σύμφωνα με την οποία καθορίζονται/εφαρμόζονται γενικές εκτιμήσεις περί της ποιότητας, του βαθμού επίτευξης των στόχων, την αποδοτικότητα των προγραμμάτων, καθώς και τις επιπτώσεις και την οικονομική επιβάρυνση που αυτά επιφέρουν». Συνεπώς, προϋποτίθενται της αξιολόγησης στόχοι, δείκτες ποιότητας και αποδοτικότητας καθώς και δείκτες οικονομικότητας. Με δεδομένο ότι στην χώρα μας οι δημόσιες πολιτικές δεν ποσοτικοποιούνται κι έχουν χαρακτήρα κανονιστικό- [και άρα, δεν τίθενται ζητήματα αξιολόγησης, τα οποία προϋποθέτουν την εδραίωση μεθόδων και τεχνικών μάνατζμεντ στο δημόσιο]-, τότε η αξιολόγηση, συλλήβδην, δημόσιων πολιτικών, δομών και υπαλλήλων παραπέμπει σε κάτι διαφορετικό.

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State Crisis and Civic Consciousness in Greece

Written by Panagiotis Karkatsoulis on .

 Translated from Greek by Anastasia Thoma

Kratos2

The correlation between the state crisis and the civic consciousness of us Greeks, is one of the richest research fields for social scientists. The reason for this is that the crisis remains a scientific curiosum since it is an actual fact that has gone beyond our scientific disputes and certainties. Some try to define it as “financial” but then it turns into “political”, and when political scientists attempt, in their turn, to classify it, then it turns into “social”/ “value” etc.

Therefore we trudge along with the crisis without being yet able to develop new cognitive-theoretical and methodological tools that shall on the one hand define its meaning beyond the shallow crisis ontology and on the other shake our catastrophic certainties about crises.

However while predictions fail magnificently and dilemmas and cultured impressions fall and collapse, our mentors do not abandon their obsessive simplifications. Not only the ones we used to consider “dogmatic” but almost all “analyzers”, systemic or not. With unwavering tenacity they try to mutilate the crisis, in order to justify their comprehension and their solution suggestions.

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O Εισαγγελέας κι ο Χάκερ: Η πορεία της ελληνικής κοινωνίας προς την διαφοροποίησή της

Written by Παναγιώτης Καρκατσούλης on .

There are no translations available.

hackerΗ συζήτηση για τη «λίστα Λαγκάρντ» δεν αποτέλεσε, μέχρι τώρα,-ούτε αυτή- μια ευκαιρία αυτογνωσίας κι αναστοχασμού. Τα ελληνικά παραδοσιακά αντανακλαστικά της περιχαράκωσης φαίνεται να οριοθετούν τη συζήτηση στα γνωστά –κι ακίνδυνα- θέματα: Η παραγραφή, οι «κηπουροί» και μια ακατάσχετη πολιτικολογία, αυτιστικού τύπου, αποτρέπουν μια ευκαιρία εμβάθυνσης σε κοινωνικά ενδιαφέρουσες πράξεις και συμπεριφορές που μπορούν να αναδειχθούν μέσα από το συγκεκριμένο περιστατικό.

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Strategic agility in Greek Human Resource Management

Written by P.Katsimardos & K.Bouas on .

Introduction

Human Resource Management policy is probably the most important challenge for Greek public administration, given the severe on-going crisis and the need to sharply reduce public expenditure. The high remuneration cost of Greek public servants (13,6% of GDP in 2009, against only 11% of OECD member countries [1]), was one of the first targets of austerity measures, thus creating a suffocating framework for HRM policy.

Reduction of wage bill and number of employees paid from the state budget [2] was the main priority over the last three years. During this period, salaries suffered a horizontal cut of 35% on average [3], while the number of payroll from the state budget has been reduced by 9.9% (76,408 people) compared to 2010 [4]. Besides the measures undertaken so far, Greece has to decrease public workforce by 150,000 employees by the end of 2015 [5].

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New political balance in the US

Written by Kostas A. Lavdas on .

USaAs November 6 is drawing near, the US struggles to return to normal after the East Coast was battered by Superstorm Sandy on October 29-30. Obama’s lead has been established during the recent weeks, since the first Obama-Romney TV debate earned Romney a slight advantage. However the polls – fairly credible and easier to be verified as to their methods in the US – show a tough and ambivalent election battle, with Obama retaining a potential lead. The answer rates among registered voters (not the general poll results for the whole population) show that Obama continues to lead, but the difference appears to be getting smaller.

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Leader is the one who thinks strategically and therefore the one who avoids mistakes

Written by Dimitris Argyriadis on .

flagThe election campaign in USA: are there similarities with Greece?

Despite the many differences between the two countries, USA and Greece meet in one point, at least. In both countries, occur aspects of the pathology called the patronage system. Clienteles are different and act differently. In Greece, strikes, marches and occupations, not only hit a record but they are also original, to the extent that recently took the form of “warning” strikes. 

In the USA, by contrast, strikes are rare. Coincidentally, two days ago, the strike of Elementary School Teachers of Chicago area, came to an end. It was, however, the first in twenty five years, and moreover, ending with a consensus of the two opposing sides. Marchesarealsoscarce,wecertainly hadtheWall Street “occupation”- but even though, they never block the streets or impede the traffic.

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Universities and Politics

Written by Effie Lambropoulou on .

Books

Criticism of public universities in Greece has been intense recently and becomes even stronger given latest economic developments on one hand and standing commitments of the country to European institutions in the field of higher education on the other. Criticism is aboutthe social role of universities, the management of their resources and their level of performance. Underneath this criticism, lies a general debate concerning the public sector and its effectiveness in delivering services, an issue that continues to exert great attraction to the community and parties. As far as I know, in no other European country is the quality of higher education and universities in particular, so hardly disputed as it is in Greece the last fifteen years. But politicians, media and citizens criticism lacks strong arguments and relevant evidence, while poor investment in higher education and research is not taken into account.

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