THE IBM WAY: Insights into the World's Most Successful Marketing Organization by Buck with Robert L. Shook Rodgers

THE IBM WAY: Insights into the World's Most Successful Marketing Organization

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Early on, Rodgers (until recently, IBM's marketing chief) asserts that his entry ""sure as hell won't be a kiss-and-tell book."" As it happens, he's half right. The text, an unabashed billet-doux to the author's sometime employer, reveals almost nothing of substantive value on the subject of how Big Blue manages to bestride the computer world like a colossus. By Rodgers' sunny-side-up account, respect for the individual, customer service, and the constant pursuit of excellence are the root causes of IBM's spectacular success. Pehaps so, but also-ran rivals might be excused for believing it takes more than diligence and straight-shooting to create a prosperous multinational with annual revenues topping $50 billion. In fact, most would agree that the Armonk giant, now unfettered by antitrust constraints, can be a calculatedly merciless competitor. In accentuating the positive, Rodgers studiously refrains from commenting on new-product strategies, in particular, the timely introduction of technologically advanced systems that invariably pre-empt niches occupied by so-called PCMs (plug-compatible machines). Nor does he offer any real insights on pricing practices or other matters of presumed concern to a ""market-driven"" organization. Along his mainly disingenuous way, Rodgers does confirm a few suspicions: IBM does have an unwritten dress code, does expect its handsomely compensated sales reps to meet or exceed demanding quotas. Details of this sort, however, simply trivialize a great enterprise. Though the first corporate officer to author a book about IBM, Rodgers adds precious little beyond a true believer's plaudits to the literature. A far better choice for those seeking genuine intelligence on what makes Big Blue run is Robert Sobel's IBM vs. Japan (p. 1254).

Pub Date: Jan. 22nd, 1985
Publisher: Harper & Row