Virtual Corporation: Customization and Instantaneous Response in Manufacturing and Service: Lessons from the World's Most Advanced Companies

Virtual Corporation: Customization and Instantaneous Response in Manufacturing and Service: Lessons from the World's Most Advanced Companies

by William H. Davidow, Michael S. Malone
     
 

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In this worthwhile prognosis of the successful 21st-century business, Davidow, a venture capitalist, and Malone, a business writer, bring together findings on the effects of information technologies, organizational dynamics, and manufacturing systems on enterprises. The output resulting from these forces is the ``virtual'' product (most likely a service ) that ``can be made available at any time, in any place, and in any variety.'' The authors' virtual corporation, epitomized by Lenscrafters, Taco Bell Express, and various semiconductor fabricators, harkens back to preindustrial artisans' crafting of pieces to customer specifications--but now with many times the responsiveness of those days. The authors see change as a nutrient in the organizations portrayed and say fostering trust and adaptability in employees will be vital in the new virtual corporation. Recommended for collections on modern business.-- Michael Stevenson, Harvard Business Sch. Lib.
David Rouse
"Virtual reality" is a new technology that has already been well hyped and oversimplified in the popular press, so that it has become a catchphrase, all but losing its original, more technical meaning. Virtual reality is computer-based simulation using 3-D graphics with interactive and adaptive aspects that make cybernetics and servomechanisms seem clunky and outdated. It is these interactive and adaptive qualities the authors have in mind when they describe the "virtual" corporation and "virtual" products of the future. Davidow is a venture capitalist and Malone is a business writer who profiled Silicon Valley in "The Big Score" (Doubleday, 1985). They argue that advances in information technology will allow companies to adapt products to customers' specific needs through constant, immediate input and feedback and that the process will be an ongoing form of customer service throughout the life of the product. Similar relationships with suppliers will develop based on such strategies as just-in-time marketing. Interactive technologies will also improve employee relations, alter management structures, and eliminate middle management. Davidow and Malone describe the technologies and the changes in management thinking that will be needed to enable this to happen.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780887305931
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/01/1992
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
304

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