General Electric (GE) was founded by Thomas Edison in 1878 as a way for him to fund his research into electric light. Only one year later in 1879 he accomplished that mission when he created the first incandescent light. Incandescent light was only the beginning, over the next 128 years GE became an innovator in the advancement of technology and implementing new ideas. Some of these products included the first electric powered X-ray machine, television, radio, locomotives, home appliances and radar systems.
While GE was building a name for itself with great new products it also became a leader with its innovations in management. In 1900 GE embarked on its first management initiative by creating the first corporate research and development lab. A short 30 years later GE became the first company to offer pension and profit sharing plans to its employees. Adding to their long list of firsts within management GE created a unique set of “Blue Books” that governed a managers every move.
In the 1960s GE partnered with the consulting firm Mckinsey and created the GE Business Screen which allowed them to analyze GE’s large portfolio of strategic business units. Quickmba.com (2010) states the screen was developed in an effort to improve an already utilized system called the BCG Matrix. The new GE Screen identified two areas of improvement. First, the GE Screen utilized the axes as industry attractiveness and unit strength while the BCG Matrix used market growth and market share. Second, the GE Screen has nine cells and the BCG matrix has only four.
In the 1980 and 1990s GE developed an effective global culture as it continued its expansion into different areas of business. During this time they were the first to offer the Six Sigma quality initiatives program. GE.com (2010) describes Six Sigma as a disciplined process that allows them to focus on development and delivering near-perfect products. The process is comprised of 6 main concepts:...
References: GE.com. What is Six Sigma? Retrieved January 12th, 2010, from http://www.ge.com/en/company/companyinfo/quality/whatis.htm
QuickMBA.com. GE / McKinsey Matrix. Retrieved January 10th, 2010, from http://www.quickmba.com/strategy/matrix/ge-mckinsey/
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