The Strategy of Sales Expansion in the British Electricity Supply Industry between the Wars

  • Andrew Wilson


In his examination of the evolution of new forms of organisational structure, Professor Chandler suggested that they were the result of stresses imposed by the adoption of a new strategy. But why did the new strategy arise in the first place? Chandler’s answer to this question is in two parts. The first refers to factors external to the firm: the new strategy came ‘in response to the opportunities and needs created by changing population and changing national income and by technological innovation’.1 The second element suggests that the new strategy depends on the ability of the existing management to perceive the situation and to respond appropriately: ‘… the awareness of the needs and opportunities created by the changing environment seems to have depended on the training and personality of individual executives and on their ability to keep their eyes on the more important entrepreneurial problems even in the midst of pressing operational needs’.2 This essay focuses attention on the second part of Chandler’s answer, in the context of the British electricity supply industry between the wars. It isolates facets of the entrepreneurial character and of the ownership structure of the industry which had a crucial influence on the sales strategy that was chosen.


Local Authority Electricity Supply Administrative Structure Electric Power Supply Chief Engineer 
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  1. 1.
    A. D. Chandler, Strategy and Structure (MIT Press, 1962 ) p. 15.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    H. H. Ballin, The Organisation of Electricity Supply in Great Britain (1946) ch. 1.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    A. G. Whyte, The Electrical Industry (London, 1904 ) p. 28.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
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  5. 10.
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  6. 10a.
    Board of Trade, Report of the Committee Appointed to Consider the Question of Electric Power Supply (Cmd 9062, 1918);Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Wilson

There are no affiliations available

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