Hugh Robjohns wrote:This kind of thinking is both very inefficient and craft-limiting when viewed as a whole, but inevitable once someone in suit is persuaded to create profit centres and start inter-departmental charging for resources, or working with external production companies.
To be fair, it's not like the someones in suit are idiots hell bent on sabotaging all good practices and results. (disclaimer: I was once one)
The reason to splitting in cost centres and doing inter-charging is, usually, to manage complexity. When an organization starts to grow a little large, it becomes impossible to manage (which includes monitor and control) all costs, earnings and expenses in one single place. Even if everyone was perfectly well meaning (and well, it's not a wise manager who assumes so when large amounts of money are involved), having a single accounting structure would make impossible to detect errors, inconsistencies and so on.
A large, public corporate has legal reporting responsibilities which are squarely on the suits' shoulders (and with serious consequences in case they are not met), and even a private one normally wants/must report certified accounts to the shareholders and the idea of splitting things up has come up as one way to make the keep the whole thing manageable.
Everybody is pretty clear on the inefficiencies! But these inefficiencies are considered a fair price for achieving the control which is required. Once the decision is made, the inefficiency is accepted and nobody keeps crying over it - it's a cost of doing business like any other.
Size adds complexity, as anyone dealing with a 100+ tracks Protools session knows. :D
In the non-suited public there's usually a general idea that you can take a method or idea that works well in the small and keep using it in the large. That almost never is the case..
Of course it can also be herd thinking and there can be better solutions out there, but I'm pretty sure that if someone comes with a workable one which reduces inefficiencies and hence makes more money everything else being equal, all suits would soon jump ship. :)