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IBM by James W. Cortada
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IBM by James W. Cortada
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Aug 01, 2023 | ISBN 9780262547826

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    Aug 01, 2023 | ISBN 9780262547826

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“[An] excellent and I am tempted to label definitive book…. The research and background context is amazing and the book is readable throughout.”
—Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

“A good read. It is engaging and replete with juicy tidbits. The detailed discussion about sales, arguably the firm’s most influential function and its main source of competitiveness for much of the twentieth century, is the book’s key contribution to the literature on IBM.”

“[IBM] touches but lightly on the history of technology and is written primarily with a readership of business historians and corporate professionals in mind. Cortada ascribes IBM’s brand success more to its historical managerial outlook and sales culture than its engineering units…. Authoritative.”

“A behemoth of a book for a behemoth of a company…. Chronicles the century-plus long span of a company that once dominated American business. As a narrative history of a sprawling business, it succeeds, with Cortada weaving in more scholarly historiographical debates and analysis as relevant throughout the book. The book is massive and exhaustively researched…. An ambitious and well-executed narrative business history, and many different readers will find something of value in its many pages.”
—Information and Culture

“Cortada provides a world-spanning example of an alternative corporate culture approach that demanded sustained effort from its employees—but treated them accordingly.”
—Journal of American History

“Unlike previous IBM stories by other authors, Cortada takes the time to engage in scholarly debate on relevant topics throughout each chapter. In doing so, it offers a robust and thought-provoking discussion of the 130-year history (from 1880 to 2012) of one of the most important and iconic companies of the 20th century.”
—Arena Pública

Table Of Contents

Preface ix
I From Birth to Identity: IBM in its Early Years, 1880s-1945 1
1 Origins, 1880s-1914 3
2 Thomas J. Watson Sr. and the Creation of IBM, 1914-1924 27
3 The Emergence of IBM and the Culture of THINK 61
4 IBM and the Great Depression 91
5 IBM in World War II, 1939-1945 121
II IBM the Computer Behemoth, 1945-1985 147
6 IBM Gets into the Computer Business, 1945-1964 149
7 How Computers, IBM, and a New Industry Evolved, 1945-1964 177
8 System 360: One of the Greatest Products in History? 203
9 “The IBM Way”: How It Worked, 1964-1993 233
10 “The IBM Way”: What the World Saw, 1964-1993 257
11 IBM on the Global Stage 283
12 Two Decades of Antitrust Suits, 1960s-1980s 325
13 Communist Computers 353
14 “A Tool for Modern Times”: IBM and the Personal Computer 379
III A Time of Crisis, 1985-1994 419
15 Storms, Crisis, and Near Death, 1985-1993 421
16 IBM’s Initial Response, 1985-1993 439
17 How IBM Was Rescued, 1993-1994 471
IV IBM in the New Century 501
18 A New IBM, 1995-2012 503
19 Hard Times, Again, and Another Transformation 547
20 THINK: IBM Today and Its Legacy 579
Author’s Note: In the Spirit of Transparency 619
Notes 623
Bibliographic Essay 677
Index 687

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