The Royal Dockyards were Britain's oldest state enterprise and biggest and most complex industrial unit. This book shows how the Admiralty over two centuries struggled to master the intractable problems of organization and management which the dockyards presented. Haas maintains that the dockyards portrayed an image of being inefficient, high-cost producers. These problems were chiefly extreme centralization but, paradoxically, weak control, inadequate coordination of departments, and accounting procedures, unreliable information about production, costs and material, an insufficiently educated and professionalized constructive corps, and an underpaid and slack workforce. Contents: Preface; Introduction; The Eighteenth Century: Running in Place; Tinkering with the System, 1793-1815; Lightening Ship, 1815-1834; Winds of Change, 1834-1854; Under Seige, 1854-1868; Revolution and Counterrevolution, 1868-1885; The Watershed, 1885-1900; A New Century and New Ideas, 1900-1914; Conclusion; Notes; Bibliography; Index.