Managing Coal

A Challenge in Adaption

By Balaji S. Chakravarthy

Paperback : 9780873954686, 244 pages, June 1981
Hardcover : 9780873954679, 244 pages, June 1981

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Table of contents

List of Figures

List of Tables

Preface

1. Introduction

 

Site Selection
A Model of Adaptation
The Case Studies
Contents

 

Part I. Adaptation: A Promising Metaphor

2. Toward a Model of Adaptation

 

Adaptation: Some Prevailing Concepts
States of Adaptation
Adaptive Ability
Adaptive Ability and States of Adaptation
The Process of Adaptation
A Model of Adaptation

 

Part II. Adaptation in the Coal Industry

3. Historical Patterns and New Challenges

 

Adapting to Changing Markets
Coping with Regulation
The Entry of Petroleum Companies
The Dawning of the Second Coal Age
The Challenge in Human-Resources Management
Summary

 

Part III. A Spectrum of Adaptations: Four Case Studies

4. The North American Coal Corporation

 

Early History
Product-Market Posture
Material Resources
Formalizing NACCO's Organization
Organizational Structure
Other Administrative Systems

 

5. Island Creek Coal Company

 

Early History
Product-Market Posture
Responding to Other Strategic Changes
Material Resources
Reorganization
Organizational Structure
Other Administrative Systems

 

6. Consolidation Coal Company

 

Early History
Product-Market Posture
Responding to Other Strategic Changes
Material Resources
Organizational Consolidation
Organizational Structure
Other Administrative Systems

 

7. The Carter Oil Company

 

Product-Market Posture
Responding to Other Strategic Changes
Material Resources
Organizational Structure
Other Administrative Systems

 

Part IV. Managing Adaptation

8. Illustrating the Model

 

The Early Adaptation
The New Challenges
States of Adaptation
Adaptive Ability
Adaptive Ability and States of Adaptation
Adaptive Processes
Summary

 

9. Broader Implications

 

Managing Adaptation: The General Manager's Job
Managing Adaptation: Some Useful Concepts
Managing Coal

 

Appendix: Coal and Coal Mining

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Description

Coal, hailed as "America's ace in the hole" because this country holds about thirty percent of the recoverable reserve in the world, is being looked to as a viable solution to the encroaching energy crisis. Surprisingly, while being a subject of intense current interest, the management of coal companies has until now remained a largely neglected field of research.

Concerned over how the coal industry could effectively contribute to the energy future, Chakravarthy presents this comprehensive study on individual coal companies. The book is concerned primarily with management's strategic responses to the coal challenges that they have faced since the late 1960s. Using the theory of organizational adaptation, it describes and examines the three distinct ways managers of coal companies are facing the problem of transforming the limiting aspects of their internal structure to fit the industry's changing environment.

Based on four in-depth case studies, the book proposes a model of adaptation, building on existing concepts in the field. (By demonstrating the descriptive power of the model, the study makes a simultaneous contribution to the theory of adaptation. ) It also reviews the history of adaptation in the coal industry and describes the new challenges to which coal companies must respond, exploring the implications for both coal company management and federal energy planners.

Balaji S. Chakravarthy is Associate Professor of Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. This book is based on his doctoral research at Harvard University.