Katerina Konsta


In an era that national flags are dying off (Sletmo 2001) there is no dispute about the success of Greek flagged shipping. How can a small nation like Greece retain the highest percentage of all national fleets? Literature identifies that this success is due to several reasons. However, what are the elements that contribute to the success of Greek-flagged shipping? This study establishes that ‘the success of Greek ocean-going flagged shipping is a blend of a tendency for governments to experiment with various policies intended to promote national competitiveness, individual entrepreneurship, the cluster as well as culture, knowledge and skill’. Litrature from different disciplines and sources are summarised, compared, contrasted, and synthesised in order to develop a coherent outcome and gain a new perspective in the respective field. Since “policy is like beauty in the eye of the beholder…” (Roe 2007c) a multilevel, holistic, exploratory, inductive, deductive, abductive, and overall pragmatic methodological approach is considered, as the only viable option for complex research questions related to maritime policy. A three-method approach is applied with every method contributing to each other: the Timeline A to Ω and Literature Analysis, Delphi Method, and the Application of Porter’s diamond on national competitiveness. The belief that traditional flags are dying off, implies that they are not dead yet. The Greek Registry, and every ship registry is a system of people, organisations , and processes and it is that system that contributes to the success of the flag. Contrary to the belief of some players, government policy affects the size and the quality of the national flag ocean-going fleet undertaking various polices intented to promote national competitiveness. This study contributes to academic knowledge as well as to the Greek and any other registry’s competitiveness, as well as to the govenemental decision making and development of maritime policies. Recommendations are made for the Greek flag and the maritime policy, as well as for the application of the GREKON MODEL to the real maritime world and academia.

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