About Frederick Guy

I'm an economist teaching in the Department of Management, Birkbeck College, University of London.

No graveyard: dockless bikes in Chengdu

Last November the Guardian reported on a vast graveyard of dockless bikes in the Chinese city of Xiamen. I’ve just come back from three weeks in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, and from what I saw in the Wenjiang district of that city, dockless bikes are alive and well. Here are some (plus a few personal bikes, each secured with a lock on one wheel and held up by a kickstand) outside a metro station. There are, I think, four companies active in that market. When I was in the same area four years ago, neither the metro station nor the dockless bikes existed – nor did many of the bike lanes now apparent. Nor, for that matter, the trees. Continue reading

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Heading for the land of plenty

Tomorrow I’m going to Chengdu, Sichuan, to teach for three weeks. You can find it on a map of China if you look inland, to the southwest. Heading west from Shanghai – far west – it’s the last big city, after that it’s mountains all the way to India. Simona, Leonardo and I were there four years ago. Before we left on that trip, I prepared by reading Fuschia Dunlop’s Shark’s Fin & Sichuan Pepper, a memoir of her time as a cooking student in that city. Which is to say I was reading about food, which is one excellent reason to go there. On return to London I bought three of her cookbooks, (Land of Plenty [Sichuan], Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook [Hunan], and Every Grain of Rice), and they’ve been good investments.

A daylighted stream for the “Haringey Heartlands” (old gasworks) project?

Cheonggyecheon Stream, Seoul (photo Park Ji-Hwan/AFP, via Guardian)

Sometime back I posted a comment on the proposed housing + commercial development of the old gasworks site near Turnpike Lane. That post focussed on parking – I thought (and still think) that the site is handy enough to public transport (bus, tube, rail) and to retail services that it could, and should, be parking free. For reasons detailed below, I didn’t say anything about the failure to open the Moselle Brook (which runs in a culvert under the site) to daylight. It is time to come back to that now, and if you’re a Haringey resident I hope you’ll take the time to address this point in a response to the consultation. Continue reading

HARKing to meet editorial standards?

Sometimes when you mark papers about papers, you have to read the latter, continued: now reading a fine paper by Du, Leten & VanHaverbeke, “Managing open innovation projects with science-based and market-based partners”, in the journal Research Policy. Like most papers in this esteemed journal, the present one includes a clear statement of hypotheses. These hypotheses are then subjected to empirical tests. Continue reading

Transformational leadership education

Attention conservation notice: nerdish.

Marking papers about papers, sometimes one needs to read the latter. So I’ve just read Tourish, Craig & Amernic’s paper “Transformational Leadership Education and Agency Perspectives in Business School Pedagogy” (British Journal of Management 2010). Everything grim they say about transformational leadership and the cult of the rock strar CEO and the role of business schools in promoting and legitimating it is, I think, correct. What they miss Continue reading