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Strategies for Managing Uncertainty
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    Strategies for Managing Uncertainty
    • Online ISBN: 9781108120586
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Book description

All organizations must cope with future uncertainties. These uncertainties affect the strategic choices they make. They must commit scarce organizational resources to future outcomes which they have little assurance will come into being. Marcus explores how decision makers in the energy industry made choices in the face of such uncertainties, specifically examining two major uncertainties they confronted in the 2012–18 period - price volatility and climate change. Marcus tells the story of how different companies in the integrated oil and natural gas sector and in the motor vehicle sector responded to these uncertainties. In the face of these challenges, companies in the energy industry hedged their bets by staking out paradoxical or contrasting positions. On the one hand, they focused on capturing as much gain as they could from the world's current dependence on fossil fuels and on the other hand they made preparations for a future in which fossil fuels might not be the world's dominant energy source.


'Alfred A. Marcus has been a pioneer in exploring how corporate managers deal with uncertainty. Now he has developed a set of deep case studies in how the leading players in the energy sector have responded to the quotidian challenge of volatile energy prices and the existential threat of climate change. In showing how these corporations have evolved various ways to hedge their way forward operationally, Marcus demonstrates how profoundly irrelevant the traditional fixation of economists on optimizing investments is when the information required to define an optimal strategy simply does not and cannot exist. Thus, Marcus’ contribution transcends the bounds of his study of the energy sector, critically important as the future of that sector is to the world, to make a rich contribution to an emergent economics discipline that seeks to embrace the conditions of radical uncertainty under which business decisions are necessarily made.'

William H. Janeway - author of Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy

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