Sony: A case study
Change is constant in the technology industry and in contrast to some other product categories, there is relatively little consumer loyalty when the next new thing is looming on the horizon. Although the Sony Corporation had distinguished itself in the past, its fortunes were flagging in the early 21st century. Critical to its lack of development was the absence of cohesion: different divisions were more interested in preserving their territory than advancing the interests of the organization (Jones, 2007, p. 118). Operating costs were nearly double as a result of organizational inefficiencies. The new CEO Howard Stringer worked to downsize the organization, eliminating divisional leaders whom he perceived did not have the organization's interest at heart. Stringer had a difficult task because he was attempting to streamline the organization's bureaucracy and managers were inevitably protective about their jobs and power.
As the company continued to flounder, Stringer assumed more and more control, including taking the title of president for himself over the company's electronics division. He replaced managers with outsiders that had proven success records, and refocused R&D on producing blockbuster products, given that the costs of this aspect of the company's production...
These efforts were exceedingly radical for a Japanese company, given that Japanese organizations have tended to emphasize loyalty and promoting from within. There is also a traditional focus on long-term goals versus the short-term and Stringer believed there needed to be a shift to becoming more profit-oriented. However, the company continued to struggle well into 2011, after a revelation that hackers had impinged upon the Sony PlayStation (Jones, 2007, p. 119).
Today, the organization continues try to find its way although the organization is once again edging into profitability. "Sony's TV business, which took a hit by being late with shifting to flat panel sets, lost money for a decade. It is recently faring better after being turned into a wholly owned subsidiary" ("Sony returns," 2015). This seems to be a shift away from exerting more direct control over every aspect of the organization, versus less control, although it is worth mentioning that the more focused R&D approach inspired by Stringer seems to be paying off with its development of 4K TVs with enhanced image quality. "Image sensors, which are used in smartphones, digital cameras, medical devices and self-parking cars, to translate the information in an image into…
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