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PublisherHarvard Business Review Press
Release date 01.02.1994
Pages count240
File size1.7 Mb
eBook formatHardcover, (torrent)En
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Book overview

The corporate leaders of the 1960s and 1970s came of age in the Great Depression and served their business apprenticeships in the post-World War II era - a time of stress, uncertainty, and disruption. Not surprisingly, their business strategies were conservative, characterized by a combination of diversification, low debt, and high retained earnings. Although these strategies resulted in redundant assets and excess debt capacity, they served corporations well - and were applauded by investors, analysts, and the business press. In the 1980s, however, institutional investors increasingly replaced individual investors, creating a dramatic change in the financial environment. Institutional investors lacked the loyalty to any particular organization since they invested in a portfolio of companies and focused purely on returns. Accordingly, they had little tolerance for firms with underutilized resources, and insisted - through the market - that firms release them to the shareholders for investment elsewhere. Indeed, many in the financial community felt that an actual or threatened takeover was necessary to compel managers to restructure and become efficient, agreeing that hostile takeovers were the inevitable result. In Corporate Restructuring: Managing the Change Process from Within, Gordon Donaldson contradicts the conventional wisdom that outside intervention is necessary to compel managers to act, demonstrating that companies can restructure voluntarily. He begins by looking back at previous decades to probe why the successful strategies of earlier decades became such a compelling target of reform in the 1980s. He explains why the financial structure that may have been right in the 1960s and 1970s suddenly became wrong for the 1980s, creating opportunities for corporate raiders. Then, drawing on the experiences of twelve well-known public corporations - including Armco, Safeway Stores, and Household International - he shows how firms have implemented radical cha

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