DEC Is Dead, Long Live DEC: The Lasting Legacy of Digital Equipment Corporation [NOOK Book]


Edgar Schein is one of the founders of the organization development field, a widely respected scholar and a bestselling author

? Shows how the unique culture of DEC was responsible both for its early rise and for its ultimate downfall-a real-life classical tragedy

? ...
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DEC Is Dead, Long Live DEC: The Lasting Legacy of Digital Equipment Corporation

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Edgar Schein is one of the founders of the organization development field, a widely respected scholar and a bestselling author

• Shows how the unique culture of DEC was responsible both for its early rise and for its ultimate downfall-a real-life classical tragedy

• Schein was a high-level consultant to DEC throughout its history, with unparalleled access to the company's story as it unfolded over the course of four decades

DEC Is Dead, Long Live DEC tells the 40-year story of the creation, demise, and enduring legacy of one of the pioneering companies of the computer age. Digital Equipment Corporation created the minicomputer, networking, the concept of distributed computing, speech recognition, and other major innovations. It was the number two computer maker behind IBM. Yet it ultimately failed as a business and was sold to Compaq Corporation. What happened?

Edgar Schein consulted to DEC throughout its history and so had unparalleled access to all the major players, and an inside view of all the major events. He shows how the unique organizational culture established by DEC's founder, Ken Olsen, gave the company important competitive advantages in its early years, but later became a hindrance and ultimately led to the company's downfall. Schein, Kampas, DeLisi, and Sonduck explain in detail how a particular culture can become so embedded that an organization is unable to adapt to changing circumstances even though it sees the need very clearly.

The essential elements of DEC's culture are still visible in many other organizations today, and most former employees are so positive about their days at DEC that they attempt to reproduce its culture in their current work situations. In the era of meltdown, raging debate about companies "built to last" vs. "built to sell," and more entrepreneurial startups than ever, the rise and fall of DEC is the ultimate case study.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781605093024
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/9/2004
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 317
  • Sales rank: 419,779
  • File size: 3 MB

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1 Purpose and Overview 1
2 Three Developmental Streams: A Model for Deciphering and Lessons of the DEC Story 16
3 Ken Olsen, the Scientist-Engineer 33
4 Ken Olsen, the Leader and Manager 47
5 Ken Olsen, the Salesman-Marketer 71
6 DEC's Cultural Paradigm 80
7 DEC's "Other" Legacy: The Development of Leaders 90
8 DEC's Impact on the Evolution of Organization Development 113
9 The Impact of Changing Technology 131
10 The Impact of Success, Growth, and Age 146
11 Learning Efforts Reveal Cultural Strengths and Rigidities 168
12 The Turbulent 1980s: Peaking but Weakening 195
13 The Beginning of the End: Ken Olsen's Final Efforts to Save DEC 222
14 Obvious Lessons and Subtle Lessons 243
15 The Lasting Legacy of Digital Equipment Corporation 255
App. A DEC's Technical Legacy 269
App. B DEC Manufacturing: Contributions Made and Lessons Learned 273
App. C DEC, the First Knowledge Organization 280
App. D Digital: The Strategic Failure 283
App. E What Happened? A Postscript 292
References 303
Index 307
About the Author 319
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2003

    A Jewel

    I waited patiently for the release of this book. I anticipated a historical exposé al la ¿The Frozen Water Trade¿ or ¿ Engines of Enterprise¿, what I got was a jewel about business that rivals Christensen or Collins. I would recommend it to both the business historical researcher and the manger seeking to analyze his or her company¿s DNA. A good read for both alumni and non-DECies.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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