Laura Renee Baxter
Milton Lawler, Ph.D.
Both Kodak and Fujifilm are companies that focused on photography and imaging as their core businesses. Despite Kodak having an upper hand of starting earlier than Fujifilm, 1888 compared to 1934, Fujifilm adapted more to market changes and currently still has a force to reckon. Kodak is currently in bankruptcy protection since January 2012 under Chapter 11 with a bid to try and reconfigure its business strategies. The difference in management strategies plays a key role in the way the two companies embraced innovation. Complacency and slow adaptation dominated in Kodak Company while Fujifilm embraced innovation spirit and diversified in all aspects to ensure market relevance. Each of the company’s approach to ethics and social responsibility clearly reflects in both company’s profitability. With an aim to give back to the community and exercise ethical practices, production standards were maintained that satisfied consumers on both ends. A possible change of decision-making process that could embrace flexibility would be the best way to ensure diversity and innovation in any organization. History and core business of each company
Kodak, formerly known as Eastman Kodak Company, was started back in 1888 by George Eastman. The company’s advent could be defined by the launch of the pioneer camera that George Eastman first put into the market. The ease of photography brought by the devise with only a simple click, simplifying the whole sophisticated procedures in the background, formed a strong foundation for Kodak (Kodak, n.d). Headquartered in Rochester, New York, Kodak’s main focus in its early days was photography and imaging. Its wide range of products spread from photography equipment and photography consumables that included paper, color chemicals and its giant product, film. The huge market share Kodak commanded in film products; over 90% since its start of business to the late 1980s, is justification enough to validate its core business (Kodak, n.d). The transition of photography technology to digital prompted a must change of business strategy for Kodak. The earlier management of Kodak was a bit reluctant with the change and this caused profit dwindles from the late 1980s. The final decade of the 20th century was a major turning point in Kodak’s core businesses. The company diversified from the fast fading limelight of its previous profitable product, film, to the design and development of digital photography equipment. The slow transition to digital technology, denial of the decline film usage, and steady competition from other technology giants that decided to diversify in the imaging industry eventually grabbed a huge market share from Kodak, both from its home turf, the US, and worldwide, to place Kodak at a lowly 7th position as per statistical study in 2010. Currently, Kodak is under protection from bankruptcy after filing Chapter 11 protection. This was after clear indication that the company would soon fall into bankruptcy, a situation that could eventually lead to its patents being sold. A deadline of February 13th was set to have the company form a plan to reorganize it to normal operations (Sparkes, 2012). Fujifilm
In a bid to mirror the success that Kodak had in the US, Fujifilm, formerly registered as Fujifilm Photo Film Co., Ltd. was started in 1934. Its core business much or less reflected the businesses that made Kodak prosper in the US: photography and imaging. The company monopolized the Japanese market, ranked second placed in photography film usage after the US. Its ambitious management ventured overseas in the mid-90s without a fear of the already established Kodak. Despite its slow growth in the overseas markets, Fujifilm developed production bases outside its hub. A joint venture with Rank Xerox, a U.K based Limited company, strengthened...