It’s interesting to look back on what was on your mind some ten years ago. It seems that your mind and body have always been functioning like one thing together, but how come some times, it seems to me that my mind went one way, and my (physical) body was somewhere else. Could it be so? Well, let me explore this together with you, during the time I was trying to keep up with a challenging job some 12’000 km away – in my own country – while my mind was flying some 70 years back in time, exploring what was happening during a long period of war, while I was still a child.
Looking back to my first outline that was submitted on October 2012, the purpose statement of my thesis said:
Over the past two decades, close to one trillion US dollars worth of state-owned enterprises have been privatized in more than 100 countries. In OECD countries 80 per of total amount, the major implications are notable in public finances, corporate performance, employment and equity markets. The authors of the OCDE report identified the key drivers and objectives of privatization programs over the last two decades, as well as their scale, structure and impacts. (…)
My study will take the model of OECD privatization, implementation methods and techniques and use them to analyse the privatization process which occurred in transition economies such as Russia, and some east bloc countries, and China. Based on their experience, I will see what lessons Vietnam should draw on these experience in the process of restructuring state-owned entreprises. (…)
Over the years, after writing about 500 pages of texts (exluding tables and figures), my final text for defense seemed to shrink to a much more lean structure with the following abstract, that says:
Restructuring state-owned enterprises in view of their privatization lies at the top of the political agenda of the Vietnamese Government since the launch of the Doi-Moi policy in 1987. The purpose of this study is to examine the macro-environment in which the privatization process of Vietnamese state-owned enterprises takes place. The period of study is between 1991 and 2012. The theoretical framework is based on corporate governance and development theories and the corporate social responsibility of the State, as an economic actor and a majority shareholder, of the country’s public companies which are being privatised. The aim of the study is to determine success factors of the privatization process in Vietnam, with the role of the State in the economy, taken as variable, and examined in the context of change, both at the Asian as well as the global context.
Keywords: Vietnam, restructuring, state-owned enterprises, corporate social responsibility, responsible leadership, transition, privatization, developing countries (PED), Change theory
Well, when I think that I spent almost ten years of my life working on these documents, millions of details keep coming me to my mind. But somehow, as I went along, correcting, upgrading some text, cutting off others, it seemed to me that details do not matter any more as from the start, and that in the end the GAP between what was expected from the Committee of Examiners and what I tried to demonstrate on my defence days seems to come to a close-up, with lesser words, less pages, and somehow less passionate arguments.
What happened? If the end seemed to be so easy, WHY did I need so much time to come to such results? What is the transformation that took place during all those years?
In my later “post-doc” work on quality assurance, while preparing the curriculum of the study programme for my educational project, I came to understand more about norms, standards, learning outcomes, quality assurance framework, accreditation procedure, etc.
It took years to come to this level, as I look back to my first steps when I first started my outline of my thesis, while sitting on the beach of Vung Tau, looking out to the horizon beyond to what I now know more as the South China Sea boundaries.
As life goes on, our perspective on life also change, and so does our interpretation of what Life can be…
Have a good day,