Lecture Details :
Capitalism: Success, Crisis and Reform (PLSC 270)
Professor Rae uses the case of Polaroid cameras to highlight key features of the capitalist system. Polaroid's business model, corporate culture, and firm trajectory are discussed. Important firm decisions are analyzed, including product offerings and mergers. Professor Rae explores factors that led to Polaroid's demise, including the company's relentless focus on scientific innovation at the expense of market research and product development. Polaroid was unable to keep up with market changes, such as the advent of the one-hour photo processing and the revolution in digital photography.
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Fall 2009.
Course Description :
In this course, we will seek to interpret capitalism using ideas from biological evolution: Firms pursuing varied strategies and facing extinction when those strategies fail are analogous to organisms struggling for survival in nature. For this reason, it is less concerned with ultimate judgment of capitalism than with the ways it can be shaped to fit our more specific objectives -- for the natural environment, public health, alleviation of poverty, and development of human potential in every child. Each book we read will be explicitly or implicitly an argument about good and bad consequences of capitalism.
Other Resources :
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» check out the complete list of Social Sciences lectures