Thoughts on ways to improve the management of professional services firms

Friday, November 21, 2008

In Defence of Partnerships

Who would have thought it? I have spent a fair bit of time crtically evaluating partnership structures. Yet now I feel the need to come to their defence!

The reason for this is simple. The best partnerships do tend to focus on their clients on one side, their staff on the other.

Note I say the best partnerships. Too many partnerships actually combine the worst elements of corporate structures on one side with the weaknesses of partnership structures on the other.

A key advantage of partnership structures at a time of economic downturn is that partners as owners can choose to reduce their own incomes in a way that senior managers in corporate structures cannot or will not.

This comes about because to partners as owners, reductions in remuneration flow (a partner loss) can improve capital performance (a partner gain).

I do not think that this detracts from the validity of my previous arguments. However, it does demonstrate the need to take a broad range of issues into account when considering firm structures.

1 comment:

workhard said...
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