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Manufacturing the Future

Manufacturing the Future
A History of Western Electric


  • Date Published: March 1999
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521651189

£ 57.00

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About the Authors
  • This is a full-length history of the Western Electric Company, which was the manufacturing arm of the Bell System. As manufacturer in the communications revolutions in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Western Electric made products that accelerated society's pace, such as telegraphs, telephones, an early computing machine, radios, radar and transistors. Western's history offers numerous examples of the difference between innovation and implementation. The aftermath of Western's 1882 acquisition by Bell Telephone, for instance, reveals vertical integration as a lengthy process rather than a single event. Ironically, although Western transformed business worldwide with innovations in areas such as quality control and industrial psychology, the company was slow to implement these innovations itself. Western's dual role as captive supplier for a regulated monopoly and as government contractor led to its most rapid change, in the area of civil rights.

    • The first full-length scholarly history of the Western Electric Company
    • Shows how the civil rights movement came to corporate America
    • Discusses vertical integration and shows how industrial psychology came of age
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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 1999
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521651189
    • length: 284 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 161 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.61kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Before the Bell:
    2. In Bell's world, but not of it:
    3. Systems of managing and managing of systems:
    4. Heard round the world:
    5. Defense and social contracts:
    6. A shock to the system:
    7. Epilogue:
    Conclusion: 'no ordinary company'.

  • Authors

    Stephen B. Adams

    Orville R. Butler, Bond University, Queensland

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