Cover: The Choices of Power: Utilities Face the Environmental Challenge, from Harvard University PressCover: The Choices of Power in E-DITION

The Choices of Power

Utilities Face the Environmental Challenge

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details

E-DITION

$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674420380

Publication Date: 01/01/1981

458 pages

illustrations

World

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

The vital issue of producing energy while protecting the environment is the focal point for this engaging study in organizational behavior. Richly detailed case studies of six electric utilities—The Tennessee Valley Authority, The Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Ontario Hydro, The Southern Company, The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and Boston Edison—three public and three private—reveal strikingly different ways of dealing with regulations to protect the environment and offer a framework for understanding the decision-making process in large firms.

The authors describe the ways in which external constraints and internal structure combined to shape the formulation of each utility’s environmental policy. In-depth interviews with managers show that organizational behavior was not solely motivated by profit or legal considerations. Career patterns, company history, conflicts among departments, and psychological blind spots were also factors that influenced action. In sum, corporations did not make decisions: people did. Moving beyond utilities, the authors speculate about corporate response to social expectations in general. They apply their model to answer such questions as: Why do institutions react differently to similar pressures? How can more creative responses to changing social expectations be encouraged? The framework that emerges for the future study of organizations is broad in its applications and highly flexible.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Jacket: An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns, by Bruno Latour, translated by Catherine Porter, from Harvard University Press

Honoring Latour

In awarding Bruno Latour the 2021 Kyoto Prize for Arts and Philosophy, the Inamori Foundation said he has “revolutionized the conventional view of science” and “his philosophy re-examines ‘modernity’ based on the dualism of nature and society.” Below is an excerpt from An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns. For more than twenty years, scientific and technological controversies have proliferated in number and scope, eventually reaching the climate itself. Since geologists are beginning to use the term “Anthropocene” to designate the era of Earth’s history that follows the Holocene