Intelligent enterprise: A knowledge and service based paradigm for industry
Citation: James Brian Quinn (1992) Intelligent enterprise: A knowledge and service based paradigm for industry.
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James Brian Quinn was a very well-known professor of business at the Tuck School of Business (now a professor emeritus). Intelligent Enterprise is focused largely at the mass market and is essentially an argument that knowledge-based and technologically driven services are increasingly important part of the global economy and an important way that managers should approach running their businesses.
Quinn argues that assets are too quickly replaced, outmoded, devalued, or cloned and that knowledge based resources and services are a better site for building profitable companies. The book is a very much a sort of airport business book. It is peppered with a long list of detailed, and interesting, examples from a wide variety of different businesses and has a strong, "and it's going to change everything" vibe throughout.
Quinn foreshadows a shift to services and knowledge-based enterprise by a large number of technology and manufacturing based companies in his 7th chapter where he argues that it is will become increasingly important for manufacturing-based firms to do exactly this. In his 8th chapter, he goes into depth on some of the problem associated with managing intellect. For example, he talks about the problems of managing or supporting creativity and aligning incentives with professionals who he argues will tend to be ego-centric and have strong individual incentives that, from an agency theory perspective, are out of line with the firm.