TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE AND THE THEORY OF THE FIRM: THE AMERICAN LOCOMOTIVE INDUSTRY, 1920-1955

This is a case study of decision making during a period of rapid technological transition from steam to diesel power in the locomotive-building industry. A brief historical review of the changing technical environment with which the firms were struggling precedes an analysis of the decision-making of the several locomotive builders. Where behavior is inconsistent with profit maximization, behavioral explanations are suggested. The study demonstrates also the substantial long-term economic impact of government policies on the locomotive-building industry. Production assignments of specific locomotive types in 1942 significantly affected the fate of the individual builders and the status of competition in the postwar period.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration

    214-16 Baker Library, Soldiers Field
    Boston, MA  USA  02163
  • Authors:
    • Marx, T G
  • Publication Date: 1976-4

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 1-24
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00167496
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Business History Review
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 27 1977 12:00AM