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Bourne identity


Simon Bourne tells us that larger organisations are 'faceless entities' and, by implication, likely to lack 'pride in their creativity' and 'passion' in their commitment (Letters NCE 20 January).

Size may breed bureaucracy, administrative rigidity and impersonality. But the ethic of the organisation may, on the other hand, address such risk and strive deliberately to combine the merit of personal commitment and flair with strength of back-up.

There is no merit in promoting the generalisation that small is inevitably beautiful is such respects.

Mr Bourne would be better advised to direct his shafts against those client authorities that develop layers of administrative control and regulation, ostensibly to combat risk but in fact adding negative value to their projects.

Consulting engineers have to commit large amounts of unproductive activity to ensure conformity with irrelevant regulation to satisfy perverse needs. This is where the smaller specialist firm is likely to miss out.

Sir Alan Muir Wood (F), alanmw@tiscali. co. uk

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