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Working Knowledge: Employee Innovation and the Rise of Corporate Intellectual Property, 1800-1930

Catherine L. Fisk


Skilled workers of the early nineteenth century enjoyed a degree of professional independence because workplace knowledge and technical skill were their “property,” or at least their attribute. In most sectors of today's economy, however, it is a foundational and widely accepted truth that businesses retain legal ownership of employee-generated intellectual property. This book chronicles the legal and social transformations that led to the transfer of ownership of employee innovation from labor to management. This deeply contested development was won at the expense of workers' entrepreneurial ... More

Keywords: intellectual property, economic democracy, DuPont, Rand Mc-Nally, American Tobacco Company, technology

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780807833025
Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014 DOI:10.5149/9780807899069_fisk


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Catherine L. Fisk, author