Dating an american institution


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What’s interesting is so-called big business ranked at the bottom of the list, right above Congress.

Worthy suggests that while Wood's successful business strategies spurred Sears into the forefront of retail trade in the 1920s and 1930s and again after World War 11, those strategies were not adapted to meet changing conditions after Wood retired in 1954.

Wood at Sears, and now a professor of management at Northwestern University, has drawn together the management philosophies of General Wood.

Admittedly, Worthy's biography (based largely on his personal notes and secondary sources) of a man he admired tends toward puffery.

Nonetheless, the reader who recognizes the obvious bias and questions the more sweeping generalizations can gain some important insights into the life of a successful corporate entrepreneur.

Robert Wood held a breadth of knowledge (and an interest in statistics) that led him to recognize in the 1910s that the mailorder catalog market, primarily made up of farmers, was shrinking and that a new market, consisting of urban dwellers, was materializing.

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