The 100 Most Significant Events in American Business: An Encyclopedia

ABC-CLIO
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Throughout history, important commercial developments in the United States have made it possible for American companies to leverage tough economic conditions to survive—even thrive in a volatile marketplace. This reference book examines the top 100 groundbreaking events in the history of American business and illustrates their influence on the labor laws, business practices, and management methodologies of corporate America today.

The 100 Most Significant Events in American Business: An Encyclopedia depicts the chronological order of events contributing to the evolution of American business, with an emphasis on the commercial innovations of each period. The book explores the origins of successful brands, including Apple, Wal-Mart, and Heinz; demonstrates the successful collaboration between public and private sectors illustrated by the Erie Canal, Hoover Dam, and the interstate highway system; and depicts the commercial impact of major economic events from the Panic of 1857 to the Great Recession of 2010.

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About the author

Quentin R. Skrabec, Jr., PhD, is professor of business and operations management at the University of Findlay, OH.

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Additional Information

Publisher
ABC-CLIO
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Published on
May 4, 2012
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Pages
323
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ISBN
9780313398636
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Corporate & Business History
Business & Economics / Reference
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The Challenge
Built to Last, the defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the verybeginning.

But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?

The Study
For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins. Are there companies that defy gravity and convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? And if so, what are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?

The Standards
Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. How great? After the leap, the good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in fifteen years, better than twice the results delivered by a composite index of the world's greatest companies, including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck.

The Comparisons
The research team contrasted the good-to-great companies with a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to make the leap from good to great. What was different? Why did one set of companies become truly great performers while the other set remained only good?

Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness -- why some companies make the leap and others don't.

The Findings
The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice. The findings include:

Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness. The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence. A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results. Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology. The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.

“Some of the key concepts discerned in the study,” comments Jim Collins, "fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people.”

Perhaps, but who can afford to ignore these findings?

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