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Corporate archaeology: Is it the future or is it the past?
#1
The big corporate operators grow ever bigger and ever fatter, but is this at the expense of smaller operators and one-man-bands?

Is the shape of this industry a reflection of the pre-commercial archaeological world where sites were dug by county units and regional operators without any real competiton?

Post your conspiracy theory here -
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#2
My conspiracy theory... is that you aren't actually an archaeologist, at least not one working in the commercial field. How's that?
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#3
theory not your strong point then?
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#4
I think the conspiracy part of 'conspiracy theory' usually takes precedence over anything as sensible as an actual theory.

I wasn't sure that the original statement had anywhere to go...
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#5
so you think i'm in league with who exactly?
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#6
P Prentice Wrote:The big corporate operators grow ever bigger and ever fatter, but is this at the expense of smaller operators and one-man-bands?

Well obviously, there's only so much work to go around, and if the big boys grab it all its hardly going to help the smaller operations!
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#7
P Prentice Wrote:The big corporate operators grow ever bigger and ever fatter, but is this at the expense of smaller operators and one-man-bands?

I have to say, I haven't really noticed work for small and medium organisations drying up, certainly not to the extent that you're suggesting. Indeed, most of the job losses I've seen have been at the larger companies, who've found that they don't have enough work to sustain the staff levels they built up during the good years. I'd say that there's always likely to be a place for one-man bands, dealing with small householder-developments, so I'd have expected any squeeze to have had most impact on medium-size companies, but at least in Scotland, they seem to be doing OK. It's difficult to be certain, as obviously no-one's going to advertise to their competitors that they're in financial trouble, but so far as I'm aware, GUARD are the only medium-sized Scottish unit that's closed in the last few years, and that was mainly due to problems with the University administration (and indeed, two new companies have been formed from the fallout).
You know Marcus. He once got lost in his own museum
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#8
Thats a good point. I've been fascinated by the number of new outfits small, medium and largish that seem to keep springing up, the jobs page on here is frequently a complete mystery to me, who are all these organisations with jobs? And a few people who post on here have mentioned going solo (workwise!) over the last couple of years. Actually I've no problems with 1/few person consultancies, we get a surprisingly large amount of fieldwork subbed from them. I suspect small consultancies are shy of getting the big units involved in their pet projects. The utterly tedious watching-brief I'm out on this week comes under that category (watching accom building drainage - ahhhh! 5 minutes digging then 3 hours doing the next individual en-suite connection...only so long you can make the crossword last)
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#9
In the long term, it cannot make economic sense to bus/ accommodate digging teams to criss cross the entire country to undertake short-term projects. Therefore a mature markey might prduce a network of units dealing with archaeology within a 1-1.5 hour commute of base.

Unless big units enjoy significant economies of scale, they have no great competitive advantage.

I have been waiting to see how long it would take for the mergers to start unfolding, but they haven't done yet.
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#10
There's been a slightly suspicious outbreak of larger units generating lots of regional 'offices' recently to look like 'local' outfits - although I'm sure many are actually just people's houses - actually we seem to be guilty of this, looking at our website, although that one's about 30 mins drive away, so don't quite see the point....
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