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. 00:00 - Chapter 1. Video: Former CEOs of Polaroid 07:24 - Chapter 2. Case Discussion: Polaroid: Creation & Destruction Inside the Family Camera 28:43 - Chapter 3. Polaroid: Vertical Integration 32:20 - Chapter 4. Polaroid: Why did the Company Fail? 42:47 - Chapter 5. Polaroid: What Could Have Been Done to Save the Company? Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses This course was recorded in Fall 2009.
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. This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 50 minutes, was videotaped for Open Yale Courses in Fall 2009. We apologize, but Lecture 10 in the course, "Guest Lecture by Richard Medley: Entrepreneurship in Business Information" is not currently available through Open Courseware.
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