Sony Case

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  • Topic: Management, Internationalization and localization, Sony Ericsson
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Introduction International Business

Professor Dr. Sjoerd Beugelsdijk

Case 6.2 Sony: Managing the International R&D Network


December 2, 2009

Group #22

Jaime Ríos Balandrano s1797077


1. How did Sony internationalize its R&D activities? What were the initial motivations for Sony to establish technology centres abroad? How would Kuemmerle categorize the R&D centres at Sony? Sony’s internationalization was in a slow-cautious way. Sony first tried to learn about a market before committing in the market. Because of this, Sony first exported products through foreign agencies or with their own company sale offices. If a market turned out profitable, Sony opened a manufacturing center nearby and a R&D Center to serve the local market. Using Kummerle’s terms, Sony was a “Home-based-exploiting site”. If we see Sony’s old R&D style, they supported manufacturing facilities in foreign market and/or adapted standard products to the demand of a local market. In the present Sony is a “Home-base-augmenting sites” since Sony now tries that the information from R&Ds abroad flows to the central R&D at home. 2. How have the motivations for internationalizing R&D changed over time? Sony’s R&D Centers solved local problems most of the time. The problems had to do with local sales and local manufacturing trouble. The managers that runned this R&D had plenty of autonomy and lacked restring from Japan. Never-the-less, this method was inefficient because Sony wasted many resources by having duplication of labour. To try to solve this situation Sony did what was proposed in the HBR written by Kao. Tap the best of different positions of the world and transfer these local specialities to the home R&D center. Then try to have a global synergy in the R&D. 3. Why did Sony feel the need to internationalize its R&D activities in the late 1980s and early 1990s? Sony, needed to enter in some regions to tap the advanced knowledge...
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