The American Corporation Today

By Carl Kaysen | Go to book overview

mental research in order to provide more knowledge to serve as a basis for applied research." (P. 355)

Swann ( 1988, pp. 170-81) also argues that research links between U.S. universities and the pharmaceuticals industry weakened significantly in the immediate aftermath of World War II, in part as a result of vastly increased federal research funding for academic research in the health sciences.
This close relationship is due in part to the nature of biotechnology. Recombinant DNA and genetic engineering techniques in many ways represent radical scientific breakthroughs that are being transferred to industry and reduced to practice. In Gomory's terminology ( 1988), biotechnology is a "ladder" technology, that is, a case in which "the new idea is dominant and the product forms itself around the new idea or new technology. Those who understand that idea or technology are often scientists, and they therefore play leading roles in its introduction" (p. 11). Another example of a ladder technology cited by Gomory is the transistor. In contrast to biotechnology, of course, the transistor was first developed within industry. The different origin of these two major scientific discoveries may reflect the shifting role of industry and universities as basic research performers. An interesting empirical study of university-industry research collaboration that tends to support the characterization of biotechnology as a unique area of interaction is Blumenthal et al. ( 1986).
An OECD study ( Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development 1984) quotes a Xerox Corporation research executive's description of the firm's investment in the Center for Integrated Systems at Stanford University: "Xerox's contribution to CIS is very small compared to what we are investing internally in the same kind of research. For little additional investment we enlarge our perspective by participating in a broad program of basic research. We envision opportunities for joint interaction with the university and with other companies, as well as the ability to recruit students. On a per-dollar basis it should be a good investment" (quoted in OECD 1984, p. 47).
See Perry ( 1986), among other accounts. According to Katz and Ordover ( 1990), at least fourteen congressional bills passed during the 1980s focused on strengthening domestic and international protection for intellectual property rights, and the court of appeals for the federal circuit created in 1982 has upheld patent rights in roughly 80 percent of the cases argued before it, a considerable increase from the pre-1982 rate of 30 percent for the federal bench.
The 1958 Space Act that created NASA provided authority to this agency's laboratories to enter into similar agreements with industry.


Abramovitz M. 1986. "Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind". Journal of Economic History 46: 385-406.


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The American Corporation Today
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Contributors ix
  • 1 - Introduction and Overview 3
  • Appendix 20
  • 2 - The Rise and Transformation of the American Corporation 28
  • Notes 67
  • 3 - How American is the American Corporation? 74
  • Notes 97
  • 4 from Antitrust to Corporation Governance? the Corporation and the Law: 1959-1994 102
  • Notes 122
  • 5 - Financing the American Corporation: the Changing Menu of Financial Relationships 128
  • References 178
  • 6 - The U.S. Corporation and Technical Progress 187
  • References 231
  • 7 - The American Corporation as an Employer: Past, Present, and Future Possibilities 242
  • References 267
  • 8 - The Corporation Faces Issues of Race and Gender 269
  • Notes 290
  • 9 - Corporate Education and Training 292
  • References 319
  • 10 - The Modern Corporation as an Efficiency Instrument: the Comparative Contracting Perspective 327
  • Notes 354
  • Notes 356
  • 11 - The Corporation as a Dispenser of Welfare and Security 360
  • Notes 379
  • References 380
  • 12 - Almost Everywhere: Surging Inequality and Falling Real Wages 383
  • Notes 409
  • 13 - The Corporation as a Political Actor 413
  • Notes 433
  • 14 - Architecture and the Business Corporation 436
  • Notes 470
  • Index 487


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