Tedlow, Richard S. 1947–
Tedlow, Richard S. 1947–
Office—Harvard Business School, Soldiers Field, Boston, MA 02163. E-mail—[email protected]
Business instructor, writer, and consultant. Harvard Business School, Cambridge, MA, professor, 1979—, currently Class of 1949 Professor of Business Administration.
Giants of Enterprise: Seven Business Innovators and the Empires They Built selected as one of the top ten business books of 2001 by BusinessWeek; Andy Grove: The Life and Times of an American selected as one of the top ten business books of 2006 by Business Week.
Keeping the Corporate Image: Public Relations and Business, 1900-1950, J.A.I. Press (Greenwich, CT), 1979.
(With A.D. Chandler, Jr.) The Coming of Managerial Capitalism: A Casebook on the History of American Economic Institutions (with teaching guide), Irwin (Homewood, IL), 1985.
(With R. John, Jr.) Managing Big Business: Essays from the Business History Review, Harvard Business School Press (Cambridge, MA), 1986.
New and Improved: The Story of Mass Marketing in America, Basic Books (New York, NY), 1990, second edition, Harvard Business School Press (Cambridge, MA), 1996.
The Rise of the American Business Corporation, Harwood Academic Press (Chur, Switzerland), 1991.
(Editor, with G. Jones, and contributor) The Rise and Fall of Mass Marketing, Routledge (London, England), 1993.
(Editor, with A.D. Chandler, Jr. and T.K. McCraw) Management Past and Present: A Casebook on American Business History, Southwestern Publishing Company (Cincinnati, OH), 1996.
Giants of Enterprise: Seven Business Innovators and the Empires They Built, HarperBusiness (New York, NY), 2001.
The Watson Dynasty: The Fiery Reign and Troubled Legacy of IBM's Founding Father and Son, HarperBusiness (New York, NY), 2003.
Andy Grove: The Life and Times of an American, Portfolio (New York, NY), 2006.
Contributor to encyclopedias and dictionaries, including Dictionary of American Biography, The Reader's Encyclopedia of American History, The Encyclopedia of the United States in the Twentieth Century, Oxford Encyclopedia of American History, Oxford Companion to United States History, and Encyclopedia of American Economic History, and to books, including Trade Associations in Business History, edited by Hiroaki Yamazaki and Matao Miyamoto, University of Tokyo Press, 1988; Fundamentals of Pure and Applied Economics, Harwood, 1991; and The Global Market: Developing a Strategy to Manage across Borders, edited by John A. Quelch and Rohit Deshpandé, Jossey-Bass, 2004. Contributor to periodicals, including American Quarterly, Business History Review, Business and Economic History, Zeitschrift für Unternehmensgeschichte, World Link, New York Times, Harvard Business Review, and Journal of Macromarketing.
Tedlow's works have been translated into French and Japanese.
Richard S. Tedlow is a professor at Harvard Business School with a focus on the history of business. His books deal with varied aspects of capitalist enterprise, such as entrepreneurial history, managerial style, and mass marketing. He sometimes uses case histories of individual businesses and business leaders to illuminate his narratives.
In New and Improved: The Story of Mass Marketing in America Tedlow draws his examples from the rivalries between Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola, and General Motors and Ford. Several reviewers found this book well-researched and comprehensive. Brand names and their marketing are at the heart of this "exhaustive, lively casebook," as Publishers Weekly critic Genevieve Stuttaford described it. Reviewing the same title in Business History Review, Daniel Pope concluded that "those who read and contemplate the story Tedlow presents so well will gain a broader and deeper understanding of American business and society." In a similar vein, T.A.B. Corley, writing in Business History, praised the manner in which Tedlow "has made a skillful use of the plentiful archives, and thereby has given an example for other scholars to follow."
With The Rise of the American Business Corporation, Tedlow provides a short course on the subject to "introduce this material to non-specialists lacking the time to read more substantial accounts," according to Christopher Scmitz in Business History. Some other critics likewise thought the volume useful. Tony Freyer, writing in the Business History Review, described the book as an exploration of "the growth of the business corporation as an organization entity within the course of American history, from its colonial beginnings to the present." Freyer further commented that, "using case studies and anecdotes, [Tedlow] portrays well the causes and consequences of the managerial revolution."
Tedlow serves up seven stories of business titans in Giants of Enterprise: Seven Business Innovators and the Empires They Built. These men are Andrew Carnegie of Carnegie Steel, George Eastman of Eastman Kodak, Henry Ford of Ford Motor Company, Thomas J. Watson, Sr., of International Business Machines (IBM), Charles Revson of Revlon, Sam Walton of Wal-Mart, and Robert Noyce of Intel. The author presents minibiographies that center on the style and tactics of men whose careers span a century-and-a-half of American history. Tedlow "narrates the often-twisted roads to riches of some of America's greatest entrepreneurs," Jill Lerner noted in the Boston Business Journal. According to Lerner: "In Tedlow's unvarnished accounts of the seven entrepreneurs, it becomes clear these men were indeed giants, though not gods." It also becomes clear that each had a succinct message which they were able to put across efficiently, as in Noyce's "Intel inside" or Walton's "Always the low price. Always."
Further praise for Giants of Enterprise came from a Business Week reviewer, who called the book an "engrossing gallery of executive portraits," and added that Tedlow "performs a great service by bringing their stories together in one volume." The same critic added that Tedlow "deftly explores ‘the executives’ backgrounds and the psychological impulses that drove them" in this book informed by "passionate and fluid writing." Writing in Training, Jane Bozarth remarked that Tedlow "has intimate knowledge of his subjects and is able to draw incisive parallels and contrasts among them." Bozarth also thought Tedlow's "talent at getting to the essence of their stories makes this an excellent overview of the history of American enterprise."
Tedlow continues his case-history approach to the study of managerial styles in The Watson Dynasty: The Fiery Reign and Troubled Legacy of IBM's Founding Father and Son. Expanding on the mini-biography of Thomas J. Watson, Sr., from Giants of Enterprise, Tedlow devotes an entire volume to Watson, father and son, who helped shaped the destiny and workings of IBM, or "Big Blue" as the corporation is popularly known. Tedlow demonstrates how "shaky" were the beginnings of both father and son, as Library Journal contributor Carol J. Elsen pointed out, and "offers insight into how the complex and often volatile personalities of father and son created the corporate ethos of IBM."
Just one executive is the focus of Andy Grove: The Life and Times of an American, a biography of the man who joined the computer company when it was founded in 1968 and oversaw extensive growth and innovation in his tenure as chief executive officer from 1987 to 1998. Under Grove, Intel became a leader in the manufacture of microprocessors, and he has been termed the godfather of the personal computer. In 1997, he was Time magazine's man of the year. Tedlow chronicles not only Grove's business success but also his personal challenges, as he rose from impoverished Hungarian immigrant to engineer to executive. The author also deals with Grove's health problems, including Parkinson's disease and prostate cancer.
Some critics found the book far-reaching and insightful, if admiring; Tedlow and Grove are close friends, and Tedlow was privy to his subject's journals and other personal information. A Publishers Weekly reviewer thought the amount of detail occasionally excessive, but still deemed the biography "truly illuminating" and "highly readable." A Kirkus Reviews contributor called it "engaging and informative," although it "never fully dispels the mystery" of the workings of Grove's mind.
Cliff Edwards, writing in Business Week, acknowledged that "many readers will be left longing for more personal details and insight into a man who regularly reinvented himself and his company." Even so, Edwards reported, the biography is "one of the most comprehensive narratives of Grove's life and work." The book is "rich in detail, often humorous, and engaging," and is marked by "sharp, colorful anecdotes," Edwards noted, adding that "more than anything that has come before, this volume lets you inside the titan's mind."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, November 1, 2001, Eileen Hardy, review of Giants of Enterprise: Seven Business Innovators and the Empires They Built, p. 452; October 15, 2006, Mary Whaley, review of Andy Grove: The Life and Times of an American, p. 26.
Boston Business Journal, December 7, 2001, Jill Lerner, review of Giants of Enterprise, p. 21.
Business History, October, 1991, T.A.B. Corley, review of New and Improved: The Story of Mass Marketing in America, p. 121; January, 1993, Christopher Scmitz, review of The Rise of the American Business Corporation, p. 97; April, 1994, Sue Bowden, review of The Rise and Fall of Mass Marketing, p. 133.
Business History Review, summer, 1985, review of The Coming of Managerial Capitalism: A Casebook on the History of American Economic Institutions, p. 312; winter, 1990, Daniel Pope, review of New and Improved, p. 780; spring, 1993, Tony Freyer, review of The Rise of the American Business Corporation, p. 153.
Business Week, December 10, 2001, p. 21; December 17, 2001, "Remembering the Titans," p. 18; November 20, 2006, Cliff Edwards, "Inside the Mind of a Tech Titan," p. 120.
Computerworld, December 10, 2001, Kathleen Melymuka, "Learning Some Lessons from Titans of Industry," p. 44.
Harvard Business Review, December, 2006, John T. Landry, review of Andy Grove, p. 32.
Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2006, review of Andy Grove, p. 944.
Library Journal, September 1, 2001, Steven J. Mayover, review of Giants of Enterprise, p. 200; November 1, 2003, Carol J. Elsen, review of The Watson Dynasty: The Fiery Reign and Troubled Legacy of IBM's Founding Father and Son, p. 95.
Publishers Weekly, February 23, 1990, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of New and Improved, p. 210; October 2, 2006, review of Andy Grove, p. 51.
Training, April, 2002, Jane Bozarth, review of Giants of Enterprise, p. 56.
Blogcritics.org,http://blogcritics.org/ (November 15, 2006), Adam Jusko, review of Andy Grove.
Harvard Business School Web site, http://hbs.edu/ (December 18, 2007), brief biography.
Richard S. Tedlow Home Page,http://richardtedlow.com (December 18, 2007).