The Company That Changed Itself

R and D and the Transformations of DSM

Arjan van Rooij

Arjan van Rooij

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

384 pages | 6-1/4 x 9-1/4 | © 2007
Cloth $43.50 ISBN: 9789053569559 Published February 2008 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
In-house industrial research has long been one of the most striking features of the innovative processes that govern twentieth-century business development. In-house industrial research and development has seen its share of both spectacular successes and dismal failures, provoking essential questions: What are the pragmatic results of industrial research? Are there ways to make this research a more effective tool? In response, The Company That Changed Itself offers a fascinating case study of the Dutch chemical company DSM. Over the course of the past one hundred years DSM has transformed its company image and objectives—and industrial research has played a crucial role in all three of its major identity shifts, helping the company to diversify, maintain, and improve its existing businesses. Emphasizing a place for industrial research amid relations with other companies and other business divisions, this challenging volume presents an innovative new understanding of industry, identity, and the corporate culture of reinvention.
Foreword by Jan Zuidam
1. Introduction: Research and Business in the Chemical Industry
2. From Works Laboratories to Centralised Research
3. Expansion and Diversification: R&D after the Second World War
4. The Large Leap Forward: Redefining the Role of R&D in the 1970s
5. The 1980s: Moving Away from Cyclicality and into High Value-Added Products
6. Conclusion. Research and Business at DSM
Epilogue: the 1990s
List of Figures, Graphs and Tables
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