Labors of a Modern Hercules traces the evolution of the Hercules Corporation from its beginnings as as a small maker of explosives to its current status as a multimillion dollar,multinational chemical company. More than a business history,the Hercules story provides valuable insight into the dynamics of the chemical industry and the growth of individual firms throughout the 20th century. The chemical industry is more diversified,global,capital intensive,and technology driven than any other major industry. As a result,it has led the way in the development of modern corporate strategies and management techniques. Hercules' evolution can be seen as a paradigm for the development of the modern manufacturing corporation: growth through vertical integration and diversification; increased emphasis on research and development; gradual penetration of foreign markets; the move from a centralized to decentralized organization; formation of joint ventures with foreign-based producers; and heavy use of information technology to streamline management and operations. Labors of a Modern Hercules describes the succession of challenges the company faced throughout its history: the move from being a mixer of explosives to a maker of chemicals,the challenges and demands of two world wars,the postwar problems of growth and diversification,the oil crises of the 1970s,and the strategies it pursued in response to each challenge provide valuable lessons for business planners. In an ever-changing industry,companies must be flexible,fast-moving,and innovative to be able to adapt to new realities.
|Publisher:||Harvard Business Review Press|
|Product dimensions:||7.41(w) x 10.30(h) x 1.74(d)|