"O'Boyle has researched and written a monumental book that should be mandatory reading for all CEOs and anyone concerned with business ethics." -- The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Superb . . . a spirited study of General Electric, and of its sometimes brilliant, sometimes bungling, but always ruthless boss, Jack Welch." -- Chicago Sun-Times
With convincing passion and meticulous research, Thomas F. O'Boyle explores the forces behind General Electric's rise to the top of Wall Street, questioning if GE, with chief executive officer Jack Welch at the helm, is still "bringing good things to life." Welch--explosive, profit-hungry, and pragmatic--catapulted GE's stocks to the top, up 1,155 percent from 1982 to 1997. O'Boyle argues that these astounding results have come only with the heavy price of employees' lives, blighted under the tyranny of "Neutron Jack" Welch, so named for his bomb-like ability to eliminate staff without disturbing surrounding operations. During Welch's reign, hard-nosed success tactics--unblinking downsizing, ruthless acquisition negotiations, and the virtual abandonment of manufacturing in favor of the more glamorous entertainment and financial services industries--coexist with scandals like price-fixing, pollution, and defense contract fraud. Sure to spark controversy, this gripping, comprehensive account begs the greater question: Is Jack Welch's GE a model company for business in the next century, or is it time to change the way the world does business?
"Smoothly written and thoroughly researched." -- USA Today
"This book makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of corporate America. . . . Thomas F. O'Boyle persuades you that GE--Jack Welch's GE--brings bad things to life. In abundance." -- Washington Monthly
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of Business & Economics eBook: At Any Cost|
|Release Date: 01-12-2011|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||At Any Cost|
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At Any Cost
MADE IN AMERICA
Everything that we identify today as the General Electric Company--the products, profits, dividends, services, assets, and people that make up one of the world's most powerful corporations--has its origin in a single idea. The idea wasn't a new product per se; the products, thousands of them, would come later. Rather, it was a way of marshaling Yankee ingenuity to create a truly revolutionary concept: the industrial research laboratory.
Before 1876, only the cultivated devotees of pure science possessed laboratories, and they used them either as teaching instruments or to add to the sum of human knowledge, not to make things. The laboratory of plant physiology, established in Paris at the Museum of Natural History in 1873, was created so that plants could be studied through means of modern chemical analysis. At the same time, Louis Pasteur was exploring human disease at his Parisian lab, while the HMS Challenger, the world's foremost oceanographic vessel, left the harbor in Plymouth, England, with passengers on the most ambitious scientific exploration yet planned--to map the depths of the seas and to report on the flora and fauna encountered.
Thomas Edison, just twenty-nine years old and already a prolific inventor with more than one hundred patents, brought a new approach to the endeavor of scientific research. The lab he founded in 1876, a modest woodframe structure in the quiet countryside of Menlo Park, New Jersey, would be the world's first to unite practical engineering with theoretical science. Edison was obsessed with inventing not ju...