Growth from Chaos

Developing Your Firm's Resources to Achieve Profitability without Cost Cutting

by Michael L. Pettus


Pettus shows how a specific sequencing of resource decisions will allow firms in any industry to grow faster than competitors despite environmental shocks.

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Cover image for Growth from Chaos

December 2003


Pages 256
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Business/Management
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We live in a chaotic world. Some of the chaos results from poor decision-making (e.g., Enron, Arthur Andersen, WorldCom). Yet other aspects of chaos (war, terrorist attacks, etc.) are beyond a firm's control. This book demonstrates that firm growth is more dependent on how a firm develops its resource base over time. Examining actual firm growth in several industries, with a focus on trucking, the airline industry, and the North American railroad industry, Pettus shows that a specific resource sequencing leads to higher firm growth than other sequencing patterns. This sequencing pattern is similar across transportation industries, and the pattern may be applicable to other industries.

Decisions that firms make with respect to how resources are developed must balance the need for growth in the current time period with the need for growth over the long term. Firms can build sustainable growth by developing resources in a specific sequence; in essence, firms have control over their growth, even when confronted with ever-changing environmental conditions.

Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsIntroductionFirm Growth Is a Strategic ProcessGrowth over Time Does Not Depend upon a Friendly EnvironmentA Framework for Achieving Long-Term Domestic and International GrowthDeregulation and Growth: An Inhibitor or and Accelerator?Trucking Deregulation: Why Firms FailedTrucking Deregulation: Patterns of GrowthThe Restructuring of the U.S. Airline IndustryThe Radical Transformation of the U.S. Railroad IndustryThe Future of the U.S. Airline IndustryPatterns Generating Long-Term GrowthIndex



A must read for both academic scholars and practitioners interested in firm growth.—Peter Wright, Professor of Management and Holder of the Endowed Chair in Free Enerprise Management^LUniversity of Memphis

Growth from Chaos is a wonderful roadmap to answering the question of what happens to industries after they privatize. It is applicable to all industries not just the transportation industry.—Erik C. Brechnitz, Senior Vice President^LMorganStanley

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