Philips versus Matsushita: A New Century, A New Round
How did Philips become the leading consumer company in the world in the postwar era? What distinctive competence did they build? What distinctive incompetencies? During 1892, Gerard Philips had a small light-bulb factory in Eindhoven, Holland in the same year the factory was failing so the brother Anton, a salesman came abroad. The larger electrical company was very diverse with their products. The two brothers focus on technological prowess to create significant innovations such as scrap old plants and use new machines, or factories for new production technology (Barlett, 2009 p.332). Philips had created a culture of embracing technical innovation. On the production side, Philips was a leader in industrial research, and scrapped old plants in favor of new machines or factories whenever advances were made. On the product side, strong research enabled the company to broaden its product line, starting with light bulbs but growing into vacuum tubes, radios and X-ray tubes by the 1930s (Barlett, 2009 p.332).
When the Great Depression happen Philips build local production facilities to protect his foreign sales of product. In the late 1930s, with the anticipation of the war Philips had to transfer overseas assets to British and North American corporation but most of the vital research laboratories to Redhill Surrey, England and top management to United States. The individual country organization was more independent during the war supported by the assets, resources transferred from their parent. The Allied and German bombing had pummeled Philips industrial plant in the Netherlands but management board decided to build postwar organization on National organizations (NOs) that has become self-sufficiency during the war that allowed a valuable asset in postwar era(Barlett, 2009 p.332). A great advantage in being able to sense and respond to differences is the environmental independent National organizations...
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