Science and Corporate Strategy: Du Pont R and D, 1902-1980

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Based on voluminous corporate records and extensive interviews with key employees, Science and Corporate Strategy: Du Pont R and D, 1902–1980 provides a comprehensive, critical study of research and development in a large US corporation. Du Pont was among a handful of US corporations that established formal research and development laboratories at the turn of the century to improve competitive positions in their respective industries. Initially, Du Pont's executives viewed R&D as an important though not central part of the corporations strategy. However the gains made by the company's laboratories soon demonstrated that R&D would be a critical ingredient in the firm's success. The industrial research and development laboratory became a major part of corporate structure; science became a central part of corporate strategy.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations; List of tables; Editors' preface; Authors' preface; Introduction; Part I. The Experimental Era: 1902–1921: 1. Organizing for research and development, 1902–1911; 2. Reorganizing and diversification; 3. World War I and the venture into dyestuffs; 4. Decentralization; Part II. Creating a Chemical Empire: 5. Rebuilding a central research organization; 6. Research to the rescue: Du Pont finishes; 7. Research efficiency: the organic chemicals department; 8. New fibers and films for a new era: the rayon department; 9. From nitrates to nylon: the ammonia department; 10. Du Pont R&D in the international sphere; 11. Development power: the case of titanium dioxide pigments; Part III. 'Better Things for Better Living through Chemistry': 12. The 'radical departure': Charles Stine's fundamental research program; 13. The 'D' of R&D: the development of neoprene and nylon; 14. Developing a discipline: chemical engineering research at Du Pont; 15. The conduct of research; Part IV. Chemistry Enshrined: 16. The war years and postwar expansion of research; 17. The persuit of science at Du Pont; 18. Making a revolution: Du Pont and synthetic fibers; 19. New directions in fibers R&D; 20. Biological chemicals; 21. Keeping ahead of the competition: Du Pont plastics; Part V. Challenge and Response: 22. The new venture era; 23. Successful diversification: the photo products department; 24. Toxicological and environmental research; 25. Redirecting R&D: the 1970s; Reprise: science and corporate strategy at Du Pont; Appendixes; Notes; Essay on sources; Index.

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