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After improving steadily for decades, the technology that brought unequalled productivity growth to the American electric utility industry appeared to stall in the late 1960s, making it impossible to mitigate the difficult economic and regulatory assaults of the 1970s. Unfortunately, most managers did not recognize the severity of the technological problems they faced and chose to focus instead on issues that appeared more manageable. Partly as a result of this lack of attention to technological issues, the industry found itself challenged by the prospects of deregulation and restructuring in the 1980s. This book focuses on the role of technological stagnation in the decline of the industry and argues that a long and successful history of managing a conventional technology set the stage for the industry's deterioration.