A Challenge in Adaption
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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.