Leadership In Regulation

Execution and Leadership: Fulfilling Conflicting Responsibilities in Utility Regulation
University of Florida, Department of Economics, PURC Working Paper. 2012.
Jamison, Mark A., and Araceli Castaneda

This paper examines utility regulators two potentially conflicting roles: (1) An implementer of policies; and (2) Someone providing leadership to effect change. The paper explores relationships and roles for policy makers, regulators, and operators, emphasizing the scope of responsibilities, methods for accountability, and modes of communication. Informally, the regulator helps stakeholders find the sweet spot, i.e., the goals that are feasible and valuable.

Reset for Regulation and Utilities: Leadership for a Time of Constant Change
The Electricity Journal, 24(4):86-93. 2011.
Jamison, Mark A., and Araceli Castaneda

This paper describes a process for a reset of regulation and utilities in today’s environment of constant change. “Reset” means to develop fresh perspectives and knowledge about the future, all the while holding in trust the wisdom of the past. The paper examines three juxtapositions: (1) Focus on next practices, not best practices; (2) Emphasize learning the why of how things work and not just the what; and (3) Provide leadership rather than try to lead.

Adapting Infrastructure Regulation: What Should Be the Boundaries of Coercive Power?
University of Florida, Department of Economics, PURC Working Paper. 2009.
Jamison, Mark A

Today’s utility regulation is marked with change, including the internationalization of infrastructure, challenges to traditional utility business models, the decline of the natural resource model for water, emerging market structures that are sometimes weakly competitive, and companies such as Google that aspire to be the dominant managers of the world’s information, computing, and network resources. This paper outlines an adaptive approach for developing regulatory responses. The adaptive framework recognizes that issues can be divided into two basic groups: technical and adaptive. Technical challenges are those for which there is general agreement on the existence and nature of the problem, the alternative solutions are clear, and work can be performed by subject matter experts. Adaptive challenges arise when fundamental changes in the environment call for a group to rethink basic goals and strategies. The model has as one of its goals the achievement of proper coherence, which is the proper alignment between institutions, technologies, and sector practices.

The Regulator’s Challenge: Providing Stability While Leading Change
Network, (30):2-6. 2008.
Jamison, Mark A

This paper examines the challenge of regulating in a time of rapid and uncertain change. It examines the traditional role of regulation, namely that of controlling the exercise of market and political power, which left unchecked would limit investment in services. Successfully fulfilling this role requires that the regulator maintain some form of independence from industry and political forces and that the regulator be highly competent to perform the complex, technical work that is the bread and butter of regulator work. The current context for regulation, emphasizing the uncertainty that regulators, policymakers, and stakeholders face, is then examined. To be successful, regulators need to properly fulfill their technical roles while also helping the political process express the values that are to guide policy and helping the players in the policy and regulatory processes adapt to new realities as they emerge. The paper concludes with a description of the perils that regulators face in serving in these various roles.

Leadership and the Independent Regulator
GITAM Journal of Management, 5(1):1-16. 2007.
Jamison, Mark A

Being a utility regulator has perils because the independence of the regulator necessarily removes power from politicians, operators, and others. Furthermore, regulators are sometimes scapegoats for unpopular policies and unavoidably become involved in shaping the policies that they are supposed to implement. As a result of such frictions, regulators are sometimes removed from office or marginalized in some way. How can regulators not only survive in such an environment, but also thrive? This paper describes a leadership concept called adaptive leadership that regulators can use to help their countries adapt to new policies and changing situations, while allowing the regulator to stay in the game. The first leadership skill discussed is the ability to get on the balcony to see what is really going on with operators, politicians, consumers, and others. Once this perspective is obtained, then the regulator can engage stakeholders in an adaptive process in which people make necessary changes to traditions and expectations, while hanging on to the things that are truly important. Regulators can do this by bringing attention to problems that people want to ignore because they involve difficult trade-offs, providing certainty and stability when tensions become too high for work to be done, and keeping attention focused on the work and the issues.

Defining the New Policy Conflicts
Public Utilities Fortnightly, 144(7):36-40. 2006.
Jamison, Mark A., and Paul M. Sotkiewicz

Technical issues almost always present adaptive challenges — challenges that require stakeholders to rethink traditions and practices that clash with new realities. For example, new realities in competitive telecommunications are forcing people to either give up traditional pricing and subsidies or face the prospect of some services and service providers disappearing. New energy and environmental policy realities, changing world energy markets, and growing demand are challenging consumers to adapt to higher prices and price volatility, challenging producers to make long-term construction plans without the benefit of long term policy stability, and challenging environmentalists to reconsider their opposition to advanced coal and nuclear technologies to meet future demand. Failing to address and adapt to new realities will likely result in increased costs for the economy.

Disbanding the Maryland Public Service Commission
University of Florida, Department of Economics, PURC Case Study. 2006.
Jamison, Mark A., Robert Gee, Robert Rowe, and Brett A. Perlman

This case study examines the situation confronting the State of Maryland when the utility regulator faced the challenge ofincreasing energy prices by over 70%. The case presents the roots of the issue, problems with transparency and staff support, and the political environment that led to the adoption of legislation that disbanded the regulatory agency.

Using Leadership to Make Policy Work
Effective Executive, 8(10):79-82. 2006.
Jamison, Mark A

This paper explores the interplay between technical and adaptive challenges in policy making and regulation. Certain stages are more prone to having adaptive challenges than are other stages. Techniques for resolving issues are presented.