Sony Case Study

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------------------------------------------------- International Business Strategy Case Study: Sony: managing the international R&D network 1. How did Sony internationalize its R&D activities? Sony started to internationalize its activities in the 1950’s. For this, it used an incremental and cautious way. They followed the Morita’s strategy which is: first to learn about the market, to learn how to sell to it and to build up its corporate confidence before to commit itself. He also says that when you have confidence, you should commit yourself wholeheartedly. So Sony started by exporting products through foreign agencies or its own sales offices when entering foreign markets. The manufacturing plants close to markets where sales…show more content…
That’s why they introduced in the early 90’s a regional management system, hoping to improve internal coordination. In fact, they gave specific role to the US, Japan and European based offices. The CTO based in Japan became responsible for worldwide R&D strategy, while CTOs in the US and in Europe were responsible for regional R&D strategies and the coordination of activities. In addition, they organized coordination meetings twice a year for the 3 CTOs to discuss internal collaboration and resource allocation. However, overseas labs retained the power to plan and execute their own projects. 5. What have been the problems with Sony’s way of managing R&D activities? There are 2 mains problems with Sony’s way of managing R&D activities. First, the lack of coordination among divisional managers due to a silo structure. This insufficiency of coordination led to bad allocation of resources in R&D for improving existing products. Moreover, different divisions and products groups under the decentralized structure have been allowed to pursue independent agendas. So, different labs worked on the same project. It is fair to say that Sony wasted resources and duplicated efforts for nothing. Secondly, even if we don’t care about the first problem, Sony’s R&D efforts have simply been less effective than

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