Philips vs. Matsushita Case Analysis

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A New Century, A New Round


Mary Leisa Barcenas


Mr. Sonny Palacio

Philips versus Matsushita: A New Century, a New Round.

I. Executive Summary

Two major competitors in the global consumer electronics industry, Philips of the Netherlands and Matsushita of Japan, both have extensive histories that can be traced back more than a century. They have each followed different strategies and have had significant capabilities and downfalls along the way. In general, Philips built its tenured success on a portfolio of responsive national organizations. On the other hand, Matsushita based its global strategy on a centralized and efficient operation through Japan. As they developed and reorganized their international strategies, each company was forced to undertake its strategic posture and restructuring as its competition position fell. 

During the 1990s, each company experienced specific difficulties to their market share. Both companies struggled to reestablish themselves in the global consumer electronics world. As the year 2000 came around, new CEOs at both companies came up with even more complicated initiatives and reorganizations. 

Outsiders wondered how each company’s internal changes would affect their endless competitive battle in the industry. The case illustrates how global competitiveness depends on the organizational capability, the difficulty of overcoming deeply rooted administrative heritage, and the limitations of both classic multinational and global models. 

II. View Point

It took time for both Philips and Matsushita to build up their international operations; therefore it is not easy to bring together their traditional organizational models with objectives that are in contrast of their extensive heritage.  Philips’ innovation and entrepreneurship is no match for Matsushita. Philips is very good at adapting central products and strategies to meet local needs. Also,...