Inventing the Electronic Century: The Epic Story of the Consumer Electronics and Computer Industries

Inventing the Electronic Century: The Epic Story of the Consumer Electronics and Computer Industries

by Al Chandler, Andrew Von Nordenflycht, Takashi Hikino, Al Chandler
     
 

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"Chandler describes how Radio Corporation of America shaped the consumer electronics industry from its beginnings in the 1920s to the 1960s. He explains how catastrophic management decisions that brought about the collapse of RCA opened the door to Sony and Matsushita and ultimately to Japan's worldwide conquest of consumer electronics markets. At the same time,…  See more details below

Overview

"Chandler describes how Radio Corporation of America shaped the consumer electronics industry from its beginnings in the 1920s to the 1960s. He explains how catastrophic management decisions that brought about the collapse of RCA opened the door to Sony and Matsushita and ultimately to Japan's worldwide conquest of consumer electronics markets. At the same time, Chandler shows that the computer industry has been a strikingly American triumph. Readers will discover a wealth of penetrating insights in Chandler's riveting account of the rise of the mainframe, the minicomputer, and the microprocessor. What is more, Chandler documents the surprising and little-known fact that first mover IBM dominated the computer industry from the 1950s to the 1990s and that the Japanese, first by making IBM plug-compatibles and later with their large systems and servers, became its major competitors." Only by following the history of firms that commercialized these new technologies and knowing the details of competitive success and failure can managers truly understand their industries. Inventing the Electronic Century is timely and essential reading for every manager and student of high technology.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The consumer electronics industry began with RCA and the commercialization of radio in the 1920s, grew to comprise a wide variety of products and a number of successful companies in the U.S., Europe and Japan, and eventually became dominated by Japanese companies. In a kind of historical parallel, the computer industry began with several U.S. companies in the 1960s, spread to Europe and Japan, and today is dominated by several large U.S. and Japanese companies. Harvard Business School professor Chandler (Strategy and Structure) delivers a straightforward chronicle of the development of these industries and the rise of the information age. Despite his fondness for words like "epic" and "drama," Chandler's is a names and dates version; not surprisingly, the story is well researched and relatively dry, charting the industry's progression from minicomputers to microprocessors to personal computers and beyond. The organization and expansion of these two high technology industries is enough to warrant many dense pages, and the questions raised particularly why European companies with 19th-century roots continue to dominate in chemicals and pharmaceuticals, while in consumer electronics and computers, Japan has completely displaced Europe occupy the author and reader in involved contemplation.(Nov.) Forecast: Chandler is a respected historian and a noted business author, but the lifelessness of this volume will overshadow its human and business interest. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal - Library Journal
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Chandler (business history, emeritus, Harvard; Strategy and Structure) offers the first of a two-volume set that compares the institutional history of four major industries in light of national economic policies. Consumer electronics and computers are studied here; a later volume will address chemicals and pharmaceuticals. In the first half of this volume, Chandler reviews how U.S. firms, primarily RCA, developed the consumer electronics industry (radio, TV, etc.), but, owing to a combination of poor business decisions on their part and good choices by Japanese companies, the entire industry was lost to Japan. The second part covers the computer industry, which rose with IBM and where, despite a few missteps, the United States has retained its lead. Chandler finds that industries and companies that maintain an integrated learning base (i.e., the ability to transform inventions and individual capabilities into ongoing organizational skills) are the ones that succeed. Plenty of business genealogy is included in this scholarly history, which is surprisingly repetitive for a work from a major historian. Recommended for upper-division and graduate students in business and business history, as well as for mid- to upper-level managers. Patrick J. Brunet, Western Wisconsin Technical Coll. Lib., La Crosse Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780743215671
Publisher:
Free Press
Publication date:
10/09/2001
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.32(w) x 9.46(h) x 0.99(d)

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