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Evolution of the book publishing industry: Structural changes and strategic implications

Hean Tat Keh (Graduate School of Business Administration,University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA)

Journal of Management History (Archive)

ISSN: 1355-252X

Article publication date: 1 June 1998



The book publishing industry, compared with other more “glamorous” industries such as automobiles or computers, has received relatively scant attention from academic researchers. Little has been written on the subject, despite the fact that it is an US$18 billion industry (in USA). The general perception is that publishing is a staid and old‐fashioned industry, with few changes since the invention of the movable type by Gutenberg in the fifteenth century. This view no longer holds true. In the past 15 years, many exciting challenges and changes have taken place that have altered the very foundations of the industry. The first major wave of change took place in the early 1980s, with the advent of the personal computing. Following that, shifts in consumer demand, and merger and acquisition activities have also affected the industry. The onset of the information superhighway promises even greater changes, but has also given rise to confusion and uncertainty as to the industry’s future.



Tat Keh, H. (1998), "Evolution of the book publishing industry: Structural changes and strategic implications", Journal of Management History (Archive), Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 104-123.




Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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