Change and Continuity at IBM: Key Themes in Histories of IBM

James W. Cortada

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


IBM has been the subject of considerable study by historians, economists, business management professors, and journalists. This essay surveys the various writings on the company, placing their contributions in a roughly chronological account of the company's history, from its early days in tabulating through to its dominance of global markets in computing. The essay includes well-known studies of IBM in addition to more obscure accounts. It emphasizes the need to consider the company's culture along with its technological and managerial changes in order to grasp the reasons for its longevity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-148
Number of pages32
JournalBusiness History Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2018 The President and Fellows of Harvard College.


  • Arthur K. (Dick) Watson
  • Herman Hollerith
  • IBM
  • IBM World Trade Corporation
  • Thomas J. Watson Jr.
  • Thomas J. Watson Sr.


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