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HBR'S 10 Must Reads: The Essentials by Michael Porter, Clayton Christensen, Peter Ferdinand Drucker, Harvard Business Review

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Marketing Myopia

by Theodore Levitt

EVERY MAJOR INDUSTRY WAS once a growth industry. But some that are now riding a wave of growth enthusiasm are very much in the shadow of decline. Others that are thought of as seasoned growth industries have actually stopped growing. In every case, the reason growth is threatened, slowed, or stopped is not because the market is saturated. It is because there has been a failure of management.

Fateful Purposes

The failure is at the top. The executives responsible for it, in the last analysis, are those who deal with broad aims and policies. Thus:

• The railroads did not stop growing because the need for passenger and freight transportation declined. That grew. The railroads are in trouble today not because that ...

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