Can This Elephant Dance?

IBM streamlines operations to shake its lead-footed image

Only three years ago IBM's bigness was its strength, enabling the company to dominate the computer industry so thoroughly that its competitors cried out for antitrust relief. No more. Today Big Blue's bulk has become a colossal burden. While the rest of the computer industry has emerged from an overall slump and surged forward with robust sales increases, IBM has plodded along (1987 revenues: $54.2 billion, up just 8% in a two-year period). IBM has tried to become lighter on its feet by cutting staff, modernizing factories and streamlining its process for getting new products to market. But results ! have...

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