Evolution of Brand Canon into a Global Player

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Case Study

Canon is one of the most recognisable brands worldwide. It is a Japanese Multinational Enterprise (MNE), specialised on manufacturing of imaging and optical products, including printers, cameras and copiers. This paper will investigate on the degree of global expansion of Canon. It will focus on the problem statement on how Canon evolved from a Japanese company to a global player. First, this paper starts with Canon’s structure and their background. Furthermore, the paper elaborates on the motivations, means and mentalities of expanding and an analysis of the international context. Next to that,…… Sama jouw stuk!. Finally, this paper will describe the social responsibility of Canon and will end with a conclusion. Background of Canon

Canon focuses on three different groups: the Customer, the Office and the Industry and others. They are producing a lot of different products but the most important are for the Customer: cameras, camcorders, printers, projectors, scanners and equipment. For the Office: laser/ large-format printers, multifunction devices, solutions software, cartidges. For Industry and others: lithograpy systems, card printers, radiography systems, vacuum equipment, components. (Canon, 2011). Founded in 1933, Canon started as a small laboratory in Tokyo. At the time, all high-quality cameras were European with the majority coming from Germany. It was in this small room that young people with a big dream began to work on producing a high-quality Japanese camera, this was the start of Canon. In 1950, Canon's first president, Takeshi Mitarai, went to America for the first time to attend an international trade fair. He got a lot of inspiration and good ideas and started to build a new factory as modern as in the US. In 1955, Canon made its first step into the global market with the opening of a U.S. office in New York City. In 1970, Canon was doing really good but was hit by dollar and oil shocks. In 1976, Canon launched its Premier Company Plan, an ambitious strategy to transform Canon into an "excellent global company". The plan proposed high ideals and pooled the strength of its employees, enabling the company to promptly recover. Then, in 1988, Canon introduced its corporate philosophy of kyosei, an unfamiliar term at the time. We will elaborate on this later in the report. In the 1990s, Canon carried debt of more than 840 billion yen and in 1996 the Excellent Global Corporation Plan was launched. Transforming the corporate mindset from partial to total optimization and from a focus on sales to a focus on profits, the new plan was the start of the innovations that characterize today's Canon. From 2001 to 2010 the number of employees almost doubled, this shows the huge growth of Canon in the last years. (Canon, 2011) Canon’s global expansion

Canon satisfies both requirements for being a Multinational Enterprise according to Bartlett and Beamish (2011, p.2), such as substantial direct investment in foreign countries and active management in foreign subsidiaries. Canon goes beyond the trading relationships of an import-export business in countries such as France and Australia. The headquarter in Japan plays however a crucial role in determining organizational culture and strategy. This can also be seen in the representation of the Board of Directors which consists exclusively of Japanese. (Canon, 2011). Canon’s mentality can be categorized as Global. The production of the mainly standardized products takes place to a large extend in Japan, but also in the US, Germany, France, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. These few plants are highly efficient, which provides economies of scale but also transparency of quality. When considering the products itself world is seen as one Due to the organizational structure the Japanese headquarter takes over the central coordination and control of the subsidiaries, their various product or business managers have worldwide...
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