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From Steam to Diesel: Managerial Customs and Organizational Capabilities in the Twentieth-Century American locomotive industry Hardcover – August 3, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

Review


One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 1999

About the Author

Albert Churella is a Senior Lecturer in History at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (August 3, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691027765
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691027760
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,756,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Holland on September 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I work in an organisation that has been trying to manage major technical and structural changes for years, and failing dismally (after ten years of fairly strenuous effort it is pretty much in the same position now as then). After reading this book I had a much better understanding of the reasons why that can happen. The guy who wrote this book knows how to research his field and explain it to a layman without boring him to death. This is an excellent case study for anybody with an interest in managing complex organisations and technology.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Karl W Kleimenhagen on February 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
ALCo, Baldwin, and Lima all failed to successfully convert their operations from the manufacture of steam locomotives to those powered by diesel. Churella covers the many reasons why EMD succeeded and why the old line makers (as well as new comer F-M) failed. GE's successful entry to the market is also covered. Summary: EMD offered a good product at a good price with good field support; all the old makers failed in one (or all) of these areas with their diesels.

I would only have liked to have seen more details on the costs to purchase, operate, and maintain comparable models from the various makers. Only a few brief examples are given in the text.

The conversion to Kindle format was not the best, but since the book is no longer in print, this is a very useful and convenient substitute.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellent summary of the economics and corporate strategy behind the transition from steam to diesel 1930-1960. Each of the major builders is examined and their failures and achievements recounted. There perhaps could have been a little more on the transition from the railroad side, especially why several major railroads hung on to steam so long, but overall it's a must read for any railroad historian.
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By Randal C. Leo on September 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent research and very readable.
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