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.
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(228mm x 152mm x 17mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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