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Prophets in the Dark: How Xerox Reinvented Itself and Beat Back the Japanese

Kearns, David T., and Nadler, David

8 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0887305644 / ISBN 13: 9780887305641
Published by Harper Business, New York, 1992
Condition: very good, very good
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About this Item

24 cm, 334, illus. Inscribed by the co-author (Nadler). Bookseller Inventory # 22616

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Prophets in the Dark: How Xerox Reinvented ...

Publisher: Harper Business, New York

Publication Date: 1992

Book Condition: very good, very good

Edition: First Edition. First Printing.

About this title


The former CEO of Xerox tells the inside story of how the company revolutionized its structure using a "leadership through quality" strategy

From Kirkus Reviews:

An insider's earnest report on how Xerox won, lost, and regained control of the multibillion-dollar global market it launched in plain-paper copiers. In collaboration with business-consultant Nadler, Kearns (Xerox's CEO from 1982 to 1990) presents the Xerox turnabout as a paradigm of the war between US industry and its offshore rivals, most notably the Japanese. He begins, however, with an engaging account of xerography's origins and wonder years. From a near standing start in 1959, when it introduced the 914 office copier, Xerox became an overnight success story. While annual revenues topped $1 billion by 1968, prosperity brought complacency. During the late 1970's, the company lost ground to the Japanese, and, by 1982, when Kearns took command, Xerox's piece of the worldwide action in copiers had been halved, to just over 40%, and the company was in real danger of floundering. With support from a small circle of aides (so-called ``prophets in the dark''), Kearns mounted a remarkable comeback campaign built on a thoroughgoing commitment to quality--and the Series 10 machines that enabled Xerox to regain market share. The collateral benefits of the makeover were impressive by any standard. By the late 1980's, the company had slashed assembly costs by almost 50% while doubling output and improving performance by substantive margins. Kearns attributes Xerox's new-found capacity to beat Asian adversaries at their own game to many factors, including innovative production techniques, greater receptivity to new ideas, and a multinational approach to manufacturing as well as marketing. Whether Xerox's recovery is unique or may serve as a model for others, though, is difficult to determine from the authors' commentaries, which are longer on broad perspectives than practical advisories. Valuable, if solemn, first-person insights on the price of renewal from a professional executive who knows the territory. (Sixteen pages of b&w photos--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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