Before Kunio Nakamura took over as CEO of Matsushita, Japanese electronics giant, they had experienced numerous declines in earnings. Furthermore, they watched as their long-time competitor; Sony; had grasped more than double of the market capitalization. To make matters even more complex employee morale was declining as well.1 This was undoubtedly a managerial nightmare for any individual to step into, but with innovative ideas, modernization, and strategic moves Kunio was able to guide Matsushita into new waters. In 2000 Nakamura became new president the key to his plan was to move Matsushita beyond its roots as a super manufacturer of products, and begin to meet customer needs through systems and services. Nevertheless he planned to flatten the hierarchy and empower employees. He demanded factory managers to seek out and implement methods to raise productivity, and tied bonuses to reaching demanding productivity goals.1 In addition, Kunio’s revamping of Matsushita’s culture was to eliminate the internal competitiveness of product development. All plants previously controlled by individual product divisions, would now be integrated into multi-product centers. Robotics were implemented to ensure that the time to produce a finished product would be drastically reduced to guarantee increases in factory output, reduction of inventory, and a more profound work environment. These implementations proved to be most effective as profits grew to $1.7 billion just seven years after Kunio took control, in 2007.1 1. By eliminating the long-standing policy at Matsushita that different divisions should be allowed to develop the same basic product, they would benefit in several different ways. First it would reduce research and development (R&D) costs associated with development in different divisions, because each division may experience R&D project failure on the same level causing higher expenditures. R&D is a process intended to create new or...
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