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Japan is not the homeland of photography but the big names like Canon, Sony and Nikon and etc have orientation for the camera industry. The decisions of large companies this can affect the tendency of the camera market and how consumers use and share photos. After 15 years, the industry has gone from generation film camera to digital camera and now digital camera has two screens. Camera in the future will be very small and lightweight. They can be integrated in everyday implements such as in glasses and cameras that support direct connection to WiFi. It is also a challenge for companies that require much more research.
The assignment will conduct research on the success of Sony's camera through analyzes the firm's of the internal environment and indentify key resources that transform them into competitive advantage. This will be further clarified by the evaluation Sony current corporate- level and business- level strategies. After pointing out the key challenges that Sony has faced, I will offer some strategies to help companies focus all efforts so that they can continue to succeed in future.
Sony Corporation has become a global corporation with a value up to billions of dollars. In 1946, Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita had came together to form a small group with a desire to build "Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo" that means Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation or Totsuko. Original objectives of the company was designed and created pioneer products to cater to the needs of people. In 1955, the name and the logo of Sony products had decided by Totsuko. From 1960, the company expanded its operations in the United State of America, Hong Kong, China and other countries worldwide. In 1968 the company officially changed the new name to Sony Corporation. The creation of the company is constantly followed by the well-known products throughout the world and recognized as a leading company in quality and high technology in their products. Other important products of the company includes: radio station using the first transistor of Japan (1955), Trinitron color TV (1968), portable music player Walkman Stereo (1979), video camera Handycam (1989), PlayStation (1994), Blu-ray Disc (2003) and PlayStation 3 (2006). And the history of Sony digital camera began in 1981 but the first Cybershot- DSC F1 just came out from October 1996. Since then, the speed of Sony camera manufacturers does not lose any well-known camera company. Today Cyber-shot line has many different types, including groups such as H, W, S and T with distinct features to serve all kind of customers.
Sony organizational analysis
Customer demand in the market as well as fluctuations in consumer predilection is no limit so it will influence the supply of a certain business lines. To avoid risk in business, the business will seek to diversify production and business. This is the way that business can minimize the risks and collect more profits for company. Sony is a leading electronics corporation in Japan. It has many experts in various fields to conduct research, development, design, production and sale of electronic equipment, instruments and devices for consumer and industrial markets. Sony has expanded operations to field everything from video games, electronics to Hollywood, and financial services joint venture in the field of music. A complete analysis and comprehensive Sony's begin with consideration of organizational structure of Sony Corporation.
Sony Organizational Structure
After the 93rd Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders took place in Jun 18 2010 in Tokyo, Japan- Sony Corporation adopted a new member to the Board of Directors along with the company's Chairman of the Board, Chairmen and Members of the Nominating, Compensation and Audit Committees, Representative Corporate Executive Officers and Corporate Executive Officers. And the member of Board includes: Mr. Howard Stringer continues to hold a Representative Corporate Executive Officer, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Sony Corporation and three new outside directors from Mizuho Financial Group, Inc, Mitsubishi Corporation and Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
Duties of the Board of Directors are determines the fundamental management policies of the Sony Group, oversees the management of Sony Group's business operations, appoints and dismisses the statutory committee members and appoints and dismisses Corporate Executive Officers ( Sony Annual Report 2009). Nominating committee is responsible for determining the content of the proposal on the appointment and dismissal of directors. Besides, Audit committee monitor the performance of duties by directors and business executives and evaluate the work of independent auditors. In addition, Policy Committee sets compensation for content and determines the amount of money for Directors, Corporate Executive Officers, Corporate Executives and Group Executives under the policy. Corporate Executive Officers make decisions concerning the implementation of business activities within the jurisdiction assigned by the Board of Directors. Finally, Corporate Executives conducts business activities in specified areas, research and development, and / or headquarters functions, in accordance with the basic policies are determined by the Board of Directors and the Corporate Executive Officers (Sony Annual Report 2009).
A good leader will bring many changes to the company. The effort to completely change was made by Mr. Howard Stringer, who became the first foreigner to lead a Japanese company since 1995, who showed signs can be developed by Sony. He was the chief representative of Sony in America, he is proud to be leading experts in CBS - have adopted strategies to reduce staff so It will reduce 6% of the paid for employees and focus on regional development. Sony has reduced capital investment in the chain of retail stores in Japan in the field of cosmetics and other cheap goods are not related to electronics. Under the administration of Stringer, Sony Corporation will develop stronger in the future to be able to regain its top position from the '60s to the '80s. From 2009, Sony has begun with the restructuring of its electronics and game businesses in order to improve the competitiveness. The merger of Sony's Electronics and Game Businesses has been reconfigured as two powerful groups. This is a Consumer Products and Devices Group and the Networked Product and Services Group.
Table 3.1.1: Sony Organizational Chart Summary
Sony's corporate culture
Corporate culture is the culture of conduct (internal and external) that be understood as living, thinking and treatment of those people around, between management and employees, between colleagues, organizational attitudes and attitudes toward customers. Although the corporate culture does not directly affect business results, but its influence on work effectively and reinforce the image of the business.
Sony's success has built a strong culture. From the beginning, Mr. Akio Morita- founder of Sony had always requires creating a culture of the company, which insisted that all employees must devote their mind to the success of the company. Sony recruitment is based on voluntary work so Employees should work for the company from 20-30 years. To create the loyalty of staffs, when staffs are recruited to Sony, either workers or engineers graduated from universities, Sony will hold a ceremony on the career orientation, thereby helping them realize their responsibilities to the company. In the company, it is too difficult to distinguish who is the boss and who are the employees for the reason that the boss uniforms as staff and have meal in the canteen as well as work on time like staff. Everyone feels respected, seen as valuable colleague and close to its Chairman.
Sony's internal resources
To ensure long-term success of company, Sony has created the resources of their own and turns them into special abilities that competitors cannot imitate. That is tangible assets, human assets and intangible assets.
Tangible asset: Over the past 30 years along with global localization policy, Sony has expanded its locations around the world. The company together with its subsidiaries has operations primarily in Japan, United State, European and Asian countries. Sony's design philosophy is applied based on local characteristics of each region.
Human assets: Sony Corporation always uses local human resources in order to reduce labor costs and help create jobs for local people. The company always chooses the best person for the job by measuring the ability of candidates to work through the important tasks. All candidates have equal opportunity without regard to race, place of origin, ethnic origin, age and etc. In addition, employees who work on the Sony in Japan, China, in the United State or any country in the world are treated equally and always feel like a member of Sony big family. So Sony's staff worked hard for the company. Because they know that their success is only guaranteed when Sony is successful as a result they are willing to sacrifice and spend what is the best for customers.
Powerful brand: Branding is always a concern for customers when shopping. It is the most precious assets of Sony. Electronic products with the Sony brand has been present almost everywhere in the world and preferred by customers. But like many other companies, Sony is facing huge challenges for sustaining the brand, and cannot stop development in the context of many competitors appear and quickly established position in the market.
Technology: Sony's products are used high technology with unique features. Currently, Sony focuses in 3 series Alpha DSLR, Cyber-shot DSC, Mavica MVC. The improvement in Alpha DSLR series is the Sony's diversification strategy to compete with Canon's EOS series. Sony continues to upgrade the function by applying the latest imaging technology in the new generation of product. Two new DSLR bodies have been introduced to consumers recently; they are intended to help Sony to become the number two or even number one in the market (Kondo, 2009). The unique features for the new camera bodies which will be launched and the new flagship will be likely to have a full format sensor and will use CF cards for memory.
Sony's strengths and weaknesses
From these internal resources and capabilities, in order to understand more about Sony competitive advantages, the next section will discuss about Sony's strengths and weaknesses.