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The Business of Research
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Table of Contents

Editors' preface; Preface and acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. Selectavision VideoDisc: opportunity and risk; 2. David Sarnoff: industrial entrepreneur; 3. Research as prime mover; 4. Laboratory as entrepreneur: videoplayer research begins; 5. Selectavision Holotape: RCA's professional innovation; 6. Everything ventured; 7. All in the family; 8. VideoDisc in the public eye; 9. RCA's 'Manhattan Project'; 10. On the market; 11. Managing R&D: lessons from RCA; Appendix; Notes; Index.

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This book looks at how RCA shaped a sophisticated consumer electronics technology in a research and development effort that spanned fifteen years.

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This is a fascinating inside history of the management of a recent R&D project and its broader meaning. After a background section, Graham describes the series of R&D decisionsshaped by the past, divisional conflict, managers, and competitiondating from 1964 through market failure of RCA's VideoDisc player in 1984. The author's style is direct and clear. Leonard Reich's The Making of American Industrial Research: science and business at GE and Bell (Cambridge Univ. Pr., 1985) is a companion volume with a broader and more distant focus. RCA and the VideoDisc is a readable and stimulating work of scholarship, based on exceptional access to corporate sources. Recommended for most business history collections. John Cudd, Sch. of Library & Informational Science, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia

"The history she presents is essentially a tale of management. Yet it will be valuable to historians of technology in heightening our sensitivity to corporate policies and politics that affect the conduct of industrial R&D." Technology and Culture "Margaret Graham offers an absorbing insider account of a technological innovation that went wrong." The Philadelphia Inquirer "The history she presents is essentially a tale of management. Yet it will be valuable to historians of technology in heightening our sensitivity to corporate policies and politics that affect the conduct of industrial R&D." Technology and Culture

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