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Technology and transformation in the American electric utility industry / Richard F. Hirsh.


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Hirsh, Richard F.
Publication date:
Cambridge [England] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1989.
  • Book
  • xiv, 274 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Includes index.
Bibliography: p. 199-204.
  • Preface-- Acknowledgment of financial support-- Introduction-- Part I. Progress and Culture: 1. Managerial and technological foundations-- 2. Establishment of a management culture-- 3. Manufacturers and technological progress before World War II-- 4. Postwar strategies of utilities and manufacturers-- 5. Utilities' role in technological progress-- 6. The mid-1960s: at the pinnacle of success-- Part II. Stasis: 7. Technical limits to progress in the 1960s and 1970s-- 8. Design deficiencies and faulty technology-- 9. Maelstroms and management malaise-- 10. Criticisms of utility research and development-- 11. The mid-1970s: near the bottom-- Part III. Accommodating Stasis: 12. Understanding values: the basis for a new consensus-- 13. The search for new technology-- Part IV. Conclusion: 14. History and the management of technology-- Appendices-- Bibliographic note-- Notes-- Index.
  • (source: Nielsen Book Data)
Publisher's Summary:
This book illuminates the role of technological stagnation in the decline of the American electric utility industry in the late 1960s and 1970s. Unlike other interpreters of the industry's woes, Professor Hirsh argues that a long and successful history of managing a conventional technology set the stage for the industry's deterioration. After improving steadily for decades, the technology that brought unequalled productivity growth to the industry appeared to stall in the late 1960s, making it impossible to mitigate the economic and regulatory assaults of the 1970s. Unfortunately, most managers did not recognize (or did not want to believe) the severity of the technological problems they faced, and they chose to focus instead on issues (usually financial or public relations) that appeared more manageable. Partly as a result of this lack of attention to technological issues, the industry found itself in the 1980s challenged by the prospects of deregulation and restructuring.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)

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