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The Soul of the Corporation: How to Manage the Identity of Your Company by John R. Kimberly, Hamid Bouchikhi

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Chapter 3. The Dark Side of the I*Dimension

Do you remember Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC)? This company challenged IBM’s supremacy with minicomputers that occupied less space, were less expensive, and were easier to operate than IBM mainframes. At the height of its glory in the 1970s, DEC was seen by many as a daring innovator poised to take over Big Blue and lead the world computer industry. Fast-forward to 1998, and you see a struggling DEC being swallowed by a conquering Compaq[1] that planned, as a starter, to slash 15,000 of DEC’s 53,500 jobs. Fast-forward again to 2007, and DEC no longer exists. It has disappeared both as an organization and as a brand. The consistent, enduring, and distinctive identity that served DEC so well in the ...

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