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The Perpetual Enterprise Machine: Seven Keys to Corporate Renewal through Successful Product and Process Development

ISBN-13: 978-0195080520
ISBN-10: 0195080521
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Editorial Reviews

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The Perpetual Enterprise Machine is about the principles that drive outstanding development of new products and processes. The authors (from Harvard, MIT, Purdue, and Stanford) primarily draw from five companies (Chaparral Steel, Digital Equipment Corporation, Ford Motor Company, Hewlett-Packard, and Eastman Kodak) as they discuss product development across a wide range of industries. Of the volume's 14 chapters, the seven principles get one each, as do the five companies. The book outlines seven critical elements that can bring success in today's fiercely competitive world environment: illustrating how "core capabilities" across business functions can bring people together; explaining the necessity of a "guiding vision"; striving to "push the performance envelope" to cope with the rapidly changing competitive environment; stressing the importance of "leadership"; instilling the team concept with a sense of "ownership and commitment"; using "prototyping" to enhance learning and reduce mistakes; and "integrating within projects" to strive for systemwide solutions. The authors use their extensive scholarly and consulting experiences to blend theory and practice; their book is highly recommended for academics and practicing managers. Joseph Leonard


"Excellent reading. A true insight into what makes a large segment of corporate America strive for perfection and international competitiveness. Should be required reading in all business schools."--Lawrence J. Udell, School of Business & Economics, California State University

"Case studies provide a lively and effective means of learning from both the successes and mistakes of well run companies."--Louis E. Platt, Chairman, President and CEO, Hewlett-Packard Company

"The growing list of once successful, major corporations that are now struggling offers vivid testimony to the fact that past success does not guarantee future success--a company must continually renew itself through invention of new product and processes. The principles of how to accomplish this renewal are laid out in this remarkable collaboration between leading academics and executives, and illustrated with twenty development projects conducted by major manufacturers."--Marshall L. Fisher, Heyman Professor and Co-Director, Manufacturing and Logistics Research Center, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

"This book is a refreshing change from recent laments about the loss of competitiveness among American manufacturing firms. It demonstrates that a few companies have produced products and processes that can compete with the best the world has to offer. It also reveals the keys to their success."--Robert Mehrabian, President, Carnegie Mellon University

"This highly provocative study of product development across a range of industries shows the path to creating brilliant products while simultaneously renewing the whole firm. The alternation between theory and clear examples from familiar companies creates a powerful 'product concept' of direct use to managers at all levels."--Jim Womack, Principal Research Scientist, MIT Japan Program, and Co-author, The Machine That Changed the World

"The investigation reported here is valuable and important both because of its focus on a central dimension of competitive advantage for manufacturing firms, and because it represents one type of collaboration between universities and companies across the discipline of business and engineering, necessary to advance the field and deliver value to practicing managers."--Dean Michael Spence, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University

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The Perpetual Enterprise Machine: Seven Keys to Corporate Renewal through Successful Product and Process Development
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