The Virtual Corporation : Structuring and Revitalizing the Corporation for the 21st Century

by William H. Davidow, Michael S. Malone (Contributor)


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Availability: This title usually ships within 24 hours. Paperback - 304 pages Reprint edition (October 1993); Harperbusiness; ISBN: 0887306578; Dimensions (in inches): 0.73 x 7.98 x 5.27; Sales Rank: 26,818; Avg. Customer Review:***; Number of Reviews: 2


      From Kirkus Reviews , August 15, 1992
      An overstated case for the proposition that our socioeconomic future depends largely upon the emergence of amorphous entities that the authors dub ``virtual corporations.' By the breathless account of Davidow (Marketing High Technology, 1986) and Malone (Going Public, 1991, etc.), a virtual corporation is a radically restructured, free-form enterprise equipped to deliver immediate consumer gratification in cost- effective fashion. Among other examples of virtual goods and services that are already available, the authors cite camcorders that make instant movies, desktop publishing, and eyeglasses in an hour. Davidow and Malone go on to assess the advanced systems and/or procedures that permit industry to offer such products. Covered as well are organizational issues--most notably, the changing roles played by labor, management, customers, suppliers, and others in an era marked by intense transnational competition. That the most commercial concerns must be adaptive, flexible, and  responsive--as well better able to gather, process, and act upon relevant data if they are to survive, much less thrive--seems inarguable. Whether all or even very many of them may be obliged to do so according to the convulsive, scattershot prescriptions of Davidow and Malone, however, will strike even casual observers as a very open question. Moreover, the authors offer few insights that could be accurately described as new. In fact, to create what passes for a coherent synthesis, they simply combine anecdotal commentary on computer-aided design, flexible manufacturing, kaizen (incremental improvement), kanban (just-in-time inventory practices), visionary leadership, and other trendy topics with short, baleful takes on the bad old days when mass production (and merchandising) set the pace. Speculative nonsense, albeit of the slick, state-of-the-art sort for which there is an indisputably durable demand. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

      The author of Total Customer Service and the author of Going Public examine new strategies--used by the most advanced corporations--that are propelling the current industrial revolution. "A genuinely original work."--Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence.

      An analysis of emerging revolutionary business practices identifies the new industrial revolution occurring in business and focuses on new strategies that will determine the economic fate of nations in the next century.

      The great value of this timely, important book is that it provides an integrated picture of the customer-driven company of the future. We have begun to learn about lean production technology, stripped-down management, worker empowerment, flexible customized manufacturing, and other modern strategies, but Davidow and Malone show for the first time how these ideas are fitting together to create a new kind of corporation and a worldwide business revolution. Their research is fascinating. The authors provide illuminating case studies of American, Japanese, and European companies that have discovered the keys to improved competitiveness, redesigned their businesses and their business relationships, and made extraordinary gains. They also write bluntly and critically about a number of American corporations that are losing market share by clinging to outmoded thinking. Business success in the global marketplace of the future is going to depend upon corporations producing "virtual" products high in added value, rich in variety, and available instantly in response to customer needs. At the heart of this revolution will be fast new information technologies; increased emphasis on quality; accelerated product development; changing management practices, including new alignments between management and labor; and new linkages between company, supplier, and consumer, and between industry and government. The Virtual Corporation is an important cutting-edge book that offers a creative synthesis of the most influential ideas in modern business theory. It has already fired excitement and debate in industry, academia, and government, and it is essential reading for anyone involved in the leadership of America's business and the shaping of America's economic future.

      From the Publisher
      A fascinating examination of the new strategies used by the most advanced corporations that are propelling the current industrial revolution.


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