The Company that changed itself. R&D and the transformations of DSM

Industrial research is one of the most striking features of twentieth century innovation processes. Some spectacular successes have resulted from in-house research and development, but also some spectacular failures. The role of industrial research in the development of the company that sponsors it is an essential question: what are the results of doing research? With this question comes the question how to manage research: are there ways to make research more effective? In this book Arjan van Rooij takes up these questions in an historical perspective with a case study of the Dutch chemical company DSM. Now over a hundred years old, DSM transformed itself three times over the course of its history. Industrial research played a crucial role in these transformations, helping the company to diversify and to maintain and improve its existing businesses. Industrial research is analyzed in a framework emphasizing its relations with other units and companies. The book results from a research project carried out by the Foundation for the History of Technology (SHT).

Arjan van Rooij
Amsterdam University Press in cooperation with the Foundation for the History of Technology