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Prisoners of their business models: the decline of America’s leading vacuum cleaner firms during the Depression-era

Scott, P. (2018) Prisoners of their business models: the decline of America’s leading vacuum cleaner firms during the Depression-era. Business History Review. ISSN 2044-768X (In Press)

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Abstract/Summary

We examine the factors leading to the onset of organizational rigidities in the dominant vacuum cleaner firms of the 1920s, Hoover and Eureka. Strategies aimed at strengthening organizational commitment, in conjunction with low levels of organizational diversity – owing to managerial hierarchies dominated by men recruited from the sale force - restricted organizational flexibility and adaptability, while accentuating resistance to change. In conjunction with core competencies that largely reflected conditions in their previous rapid growth phases, organisation rigidity left both firms vulnerable to the new conditions of the Depression, including product and value chain innovation by a new entrant, Electrolux.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Henley Business School > Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
ID Code:81509
Publisher:Cambridge University Press

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