I percorsi di sviluppo delle public utilities. Risposte strategiche alla liberalizzazione nel settore dell'energia

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] The development paths of public utilities. Strategic responses to liberalization in the energy sector

Research output: Book/ReportBook


[Autom. eng. transl.] The utilities sectors are undergoing a major restructuring phase. Changes in the regulatory framework and in the ownership structure of companies, combined with changes of a technological and market nature, have radically transformed and are still transforming the industrial structure, the competitive dynamics and the behavior of the operators, old and new, present in that vast sector. activities which, although heterogeneous, are identified in the reference to public utility services. The particular dynamism of public utilities is evidenced by the differentiation of the chosen strategic development lines. It is all the more relevant and interesting when compared with the substantial stability and uniformity of behavior that characterized the companies in the sector until recently, when regulatory constraints and well-defined sectoral boundaries severely limited their operations. The variety of strategic choices can be interpreted as the result of the progressive disappearance of the numerous legal, political and regulatory constraints, which severely limited corporate autonomy in defining development strategies. The new regulatory context has significantly increased the degrees of freedom in the strategic action of companies. The processes of liberalization and privatization create threats and, at the same time, new business opportunities for both old operators and newcomers and require the search for new business models. In addition to encouraging the entry of new entrepreneurial subjects, the opening of the sectors to competition has prompted incumbents to seek new development paths, in order to respond effectively to the system of constraints / opportunities deriving from growing competition. In fact, incumbents, until recently protected from competition thanks to policies that, in pursuit of public interest purposes, protected monopolies, are experiencing competitive pressures, sometimes very intense, from new entrepreneurial entities. Hence the need for a profound strategic, organizational and, above all, cultural change in the renewed scenario marked by the transition from monopoly to competition. The pursuit of new development paths requires the implementation of far-reaching processes at all levels of the organization. Alongside the variety of development options chosen and greater strategic vitality, there are, therefore, profound innovations in organizational structures, business management models, management and key competences of companies. This work is intended to be a contribution to the analysis of the contents and determinants of the development options pursued by public utilities and to the deepening of the underlying reasons for emerging business models. The intent is, on the one hand, to provide a descriptive picture of the development paths undertaken in recent years and, on the other, to identify key elements and critical factors connected to these paths, with the aim of analyzing the following aspects : a) changes in the organizational-institutional structure and strategic management related to innovations in the regulatory context and, more generally, in the environment; b) the development vectors pursued, divided into four basic options: entry into new geographic markets, integration, specialization, diversification; c) the determinants of strategic choices and, in particular, the reasons for the growing interest in the multiutility strategy in the first years of liberalization; d) the methods of implementing development strategies; e) the identification of business models towards which utilities are expected to evolve and changes in their skills profile.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] The development paths of public utilities. Strategic responses to liberalization in the energy sector
Original languageItalian
Number of pages270
ISBN (Print)88-1325384-2
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • corporate strategy
  • liberalizzazione
  • public utilities
  • servizi pubblici
  • settore dell'energia
  • strategie di sviluppo


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