STRATEGIC PROJECT MANAGEMENT

COMPETITIVE STRATEGY (C11CZ)
Group Assignment# 2

S ONY C ORPORATION

AND ITS

O RGANIZATIONAL

CHANGE

For Review of Dr. Mohd. A. Salama Submitted by Group# 9 Group Name

Atiye Arooni - 091575553 Yulia Storozheva - 091615457 Julia Parbey - 091575601 S Shafaq Akbari - 091598828

“SONY CORPORATION – INNOVATION

ALL

THE

WAY”

TABLE

OF

CONTENT

TABLE OF CONTENT..................................................................................................................................I TABLE OF FIGURES.................................................................................................................................III EXECUTIVE SUMMARY...........................................................................................................................II ACKNOWLEDGEMENT...........................................................................................................................III INTRODUCTION..........................................................................................................................................1 SONY...........................................................................................................................................................1 COMPANY STRATEGY........................................................................................................................................1 ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE...........................................................................................................3 CORPORATE STRUCTURE OF SONY CORPORATION..................................................................................................3 Multi-Divisional structure (M-form).......................................................................................................3 Strategy and Organizational Structure...................................................................................................4 GOOLD AND CAMPBELL TESTS...........................................................................................................................6 The Specialist Cultures Test: ..................................................................................................................6 The Difficult Links Test ..........................................................................................................................6
Shared know-how Links.....................................................................................................................................7 Shared Tangible Resources Links......................................................................................................................7 Pooled Negotiating Power Links........................................................................................................................7 Coordinated Strategies Links.............................................................................................................................8 Vertical Integration Links..................................................................................................................................1 New-Business Creation Links............................................................................................................................1

The Redundant Hierarchy Test: .............................................................................................................1 The Accountability Test...........................................................................................................................2 The Flexibility Test..................................................................................................................................2 THE RISK AND BENEFITS OF THE MULTIDIVISIONAL STRUCTURE........................................4 THE BENEFITS ................................................................................................................................................4 THE RISKS ......................................................................................................................................................5 THE CULTURAL WEB BEFORE HOWARD STRINGER.....................................................................6 THE CULTURAL WEB AFTER HOWARD STRINGER........................................................................9 SIR HOWARD STRINGER’S CHANGE MANAGEMENT...................................................................11 CONCLUSION.............................................................................................................................................14 REFERENCES.............................................................................................................................................15 APPENDICES ..............................................................................................................................................17 APPENDIX A: STRUCTURAL ASSIGNMENT (2005)...............................................................................................17 Structural Heads....................................................................................................................................17 Strategy Committee heads.....................................................................................................................17

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APPENDIX B: SONY GROUP INFORMATION (2009)..............................................................................................18 Sony Group Organizational Chart .......................................................................................................18 APPENDIX C: DETAIL COMPANY STRATEGY (2005)...........................................................................................19 APPENDIX D: SONY OPERATING CHART (2009)................................................................................................22

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TABLE

OF

FIGURES

FIGURE 1 – SONY ORGANIZATIONAL CHART (AS OF OCT 2005) ..............................................4 FIGURE 2 – THE SPECIALIST CULTURE TEST ..................................................................................6 FIGURE 3 – THE DIFFICULT LINKS TEST...........................................................................................7 FIGURE 4 – THE REDUNDANT HIERARCHY TEST...........................................................................1 FIGURE 5 – THE ACCOUNTABILITY TEST..........................................................................................2 FIGURE 6 – THE FLEXIBILITY TEST.....................................................................................................3 FIGURE 7- CULTURAL WEB BEFORE HOWARD STRINGER BECAME CEO OF SONY GLOBAL.........................................................................................................................................................8 FIGURE 8- CULTURAL WEB AFTER HOWARD STRINGER BECAME CEO OF SONY GLOBAL.......................................................................................................................................................10

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E X E C U T I V E S U M M A RY
This report has been prepared towards the completion of our second assignment of Competitive Strategy (C11CZ). The report is an evaluation of the organization structure implemented by Sir Howard Stringer in October 2005. The transition of Sony’s organization structure from Transnational structural to multidivisional structure has been analyzed in detail. Goold and Campbell’s five tests have been conducted to determine the appropriateness of Sir Howard Stringer’s structural choice given his desire to make Sony a more innovative and flexible organization. The risks and benefits of the structural choice has also been assessed. The report displays the cultural web of Sony before and after Sir Howard’s arrival. It was derived that the Reconstruction type of strategic change had been used to bring about the transformation in the organization’s culture. Consequently, Sir Howard adopted the “Education and Communication” and the “Collaboration/Participation” styles of strategic change implementation. In conclusion, it can be seen that the stock share value has increased during 2005-2007 which means that Howard Stringer was doing a good job at implementing his change.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
We thank Heriot-Watt for giving us the opportunity to enhance our learning in Strategic Project Management by means of this group assignment. We would like to give a hearty thanks to our Professors at Heriot Watt, namely Dr. M. A. Salama and Dr. Michael Clarke for their time and guidance for completing this assignment. We would like to thank the university librarian Ramakant for his cooperation in providing us the appropriate books and journals for reference. We would also like to thank our families and friends for their support through out the completion of this assignment. We could not have done this without them. -- PM Stars Incorporated

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Competitive Strategy

INTRODUCTION
As a part of this report let us start by introducing Sony Corporation.

SONY
Sony is one of the leading manufacturers of electronics, video, communications, video game consoles, and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Sony was founded on 7th May 1946. The representative corporate executive officers at Sony as of today as Howard Stringer(Chairman, CEO and President), Ryoji Chubachi (Vice Chairman) and Nobuyuki Oneda (Executive Deputy President and CFO). (Sony Global (2009) has provided the above information). Sony Corporation (commonly referred to as Sony) is a multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan, and one of the world's largest media conglomerates with revenue exceeding ¥ 7.730.0 trillion, or $78.88 billion U.S. (FY2008). Its name is derived from sonus, the Latin word for sound. Sony Corporation is the electronics business unit and the parent company of the Sony Group, which is engaged in business through its five operating segments—electronics, games, entertainment (motion pictures and music), financial services and other. Sony's principal business operations include Sony Corporation (Sony Electronics in the U.S.), Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment, Sony Ericsson, and Sony Financial. As a semiconductor maker, Sony is among the Worldwide Top 20 Semiconductor Sales Leaders. The company's slogan is make.believe. (Wikipedia (2009) provided information regarding Sony Corporation).

Company Strategy
Vision (2005): “make Sony cool again” Vision (2009): “make.believe” When Howard Stringer joined as the CEO of Sony Global Japan he made new

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Competitive Strategy

strategies and used those strategies to restructure the organization to be in-line with these strategies. Firstly, he looked at the core competencies of the company and focused mainly on the electronics, games and entertainment sector. He established a growth strategy saying, “Our target is for the Sony Group to achieve consolidated sales of over 8 trillion yen and an operating profit margin of 5% (electronics 4%) by the end of fiscal year 2007”. NewsBlaze (2005) published the company strategy from the fiscal year 2005 to 2008 as given in Appendix C of this report. The three-year revitalization plan/strategy was as follows (in brief): 1. Restructuring the Electronics Organization Eliminated the corporate silos and bring competitive growth. more focus on

2. Improving Sony’s Profit Structure a. Cost Reductions b. Sale of Real Estate, Stock and Non-Core Assets 3. Strengthening Sony’s Current Electronics Business Focus on areas of the Electronics business by profitability in television by the second half of 2006. bringing

4. Focusing Resources on Growth Strategy a. Making the HD World and Major Profit Pillar Launching of a range of high-definition products in 2006. b. Focusing on Intelligent & Interoperable Products Developing network-enabled products and applications c. Strengthening Technology Development i. Creation of Home and iii. NextMobile Platforms Generation Display ii. Concentrating (OLED) Investment on iv. Enhancing Semiconductors and Software Key Component Development Devices 5. Group Convergence Strategy a. Pursuit of mobile entertainment b. Establishment of Cell Development Center
6. Group Strategy by Individual Sector focus on:

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Competitive Strategy

a. Games b. Entertainment i. Motion Pictures ii. Music

c. Mobile Phones d. Financial Services e. Network Services, Retail f. Retail Business

Note: Refer to Appendix C for a detailed Company Strategy.

O R G A N I Z AT I O N A L S T R U C T U R E
Corporate Structure of Sony Corporation
From the analysis on the organizational structure that Howard Stringer was trying to implement in 2005 we can see that it was clearly a multidivisional structure. This structure has been further worked on since 2005 and there have been slight changes to the same.

Multi-Divisional structure (M-form)
The multi-divisional structure is also known as the “product structure” where the divisional structure groups organizational function into a division. Each division works as an independent section within the company and the divisional structure contains all the necessary resources and functions within it. Each Division will have its own sales, engineering and marketing departments. (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2009). The organizational structure in 2005 that Howard Stringer was trying to implement is a hybrid structure which is as follows (Please refer to Appendix A for the assignment of each person in the division):

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Competitive Strategy

Electronics Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications B&P Business Group Audio Business Group Digital Imaging Business Group VAIO Business Group Video Business Group TV Business Group Connect Company Game Business Group Entertainment Business Group Personal Solutions Business Group Sony Financial Holdings Group Semiconductor Business Unit Core component Business Unit .

Product Strategy Committee Technology Strategy Committee Production Strategy Committee Procurement Strategy Committee Sales Strategy Committee

Figure 1 – Sony Organizational chart (as R&DOct 2005) Headquarters/Corporate of
(Source: Johnson, Scholes and Whittington, 2008)

Please refer to Appendix B for the new Organization Structure as of 1st July. From the organizational structure above it can be seen that Howard Stringer was attempting to implement the multi-divisional structure. He had assigned Ryoji Chubachi to handle the main Electronics business and Chubachi had implemented the multinational matrix structure. We will not go into details of the matrix structure but will explain it below in brief. In case of the Multinational Structure of the organization we can see that there were a few business units that were put together in order to increase their responsiveness in the market. There were five committees created across all these business units and business groups. This gave a better integration of knowledge, flexibility and the ability to analyze these units across its procurement, technology, product strategy, sales and productive business outcomes.

Strategy and Organizational Structure

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Competitive Strategy

When Howard Stringer took over the Sony Global Corporation in 2005 he gave strategies for each product in the company. The strategies are stated above in the Introduction section of this report. As per the strategies implemented we can see clearly that he had devised different strategies for each core product that Sony was providing and so he also divided the company’s organizational structure the same way. Thus, we see that the company is become more flat and each division is reporting to the Headquarters. As in a multidivisional organization such as Sony, the division’s become flexible as in the sense that they are able to merge, add or close divisions. This is apparent in the fact that Sony’s Mobile division merged with Ericsson to produce Sony Ericsson range of mobiles. It can also be seen that Sony’s Music Entertainment division had a 5050 joint venture with Bertelsmann Music Group naming Sony’s Music division as Sony BMG Music Entertainment and in August 2008 Sony bought Bertelsmann’s 50% shares and Sony renamed its Music division as Sony Music Entertainment. Ergo, it is apparent that because of Sony’s multidivisional structure each division is able to work as its own company which is flexible enough to have joint-venture projects as in the case of Sony Ericsson and the company is also able to make the decision of buying over another company such as the Bertelsmann Music group. When Howard Stringer took over Sony he also closed down a chain of restaurants and other non-core business companies that Sony owned. With a multidivisional structure in place Sir Howard Stringer was able to control and oversee each division from a distance by monitoring the business performance of each division. If we look at the advantages of a multi-divisional structure we can see that because the structure is divided by product lines it allows each division to grow and specialize on their competences. We can see that each division has actually become its own company like the Sony Electronics Inc., the Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. As we will see in the redundancy test later in this report we can see that each of the companies that are based in each country have their own head offices. This means that there are many parent levels in this organization which means that many of the supporting departments such as HR and IT will be redundant but due to the large organization structure of the company Sony needs these headquarters to be set-up. Although the knowledge
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Competitive Strategy

sharing and cooperation between the business units become very limited but Howard Stringer has tried overcoming this by placing five strategic committees across the business units which are the product, technology, production, procurement and sales. Thus standardizations and centralization has helped to reduce effort and poor coordination. Also, with Howard traveling around Sony’s operations at a rate of 30,000 air miles a month (Nakamoto 2006) is building spirits and reflecting in the eyes of the employees all around Sony.

Goold and Campbell Tests
We will use the Goold and Campbell last 5 tests to determine the appropriateness of Howard Stringer’s structural choice given his desire to “make Sony cool again” (Clayton 2005).

The Specialist Cultures Test:
The Organization Structure: Specialist Culture test

Very Poor

Poor

Satisfactory

Good

Very Good

Figure 2 – The Specialist Culture test

In the Specialist Culture test we placed Sony between ‘Good’ and ‘Very Good’ as Sony has an Engineer-driven culture (Edwards, Lowry, Ihlwan, Hall 2005). “Sony is an engineering culture” (Paczkowski 2008) says Howard Stringer and they really take care of their engineers. Engineers have the freedom to think and come up with new designs. When a certain project was untaken engineers from all the different departments met in one place to finish that task. This shows that there is no organizational contamination of the specialist engineer culture test.

The Difficult Links Test
The Organization Structure: Difficult Links Test

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Competitive Strategy

Very Poor

Poor

Satisfactory

Good

Very Good

Figure 3 – The Difficult Links Test

Shared know-how Links Sony holds Knowledge-sharing sessions and several other activities company wide. They host forums to enable interactive discussion about the company news and they engage their employees in company developments and “in-the-Know” at all times as claimed by them on their website. Sony also provides all documents, policies, lessoned learned and all other types of documents on their intranet sites. Shared Tangible Resources Links Though with a multidivisional organization with so many parent companies the amount of duplication of work increases but after Sir Howard Stringer came into Sony he divided all core businesses by products into separate units that would report to the Corporate office and setup a corporate R&D unit to reduce the duplications and also brought in standardized engineered products to help the reduction of cost. Pooled Negotiating Power Links Sony’s Mobile division merged with Ericsson to produce Sony Ericsson range of mobiles. Ericsson had the latest mobile technology and Sony

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Competitive Strategy

had the vast experience in consumer electronics and entertainment like music, pictures and games. Bringing them both together in a 50-50 joint venture gave Sony power in the market. This would help both the companies generate economies of scale. It can also be seen that Sony’s Music Entertainment division had a 5050 joint venture with Bertelsmann Music Group naming Sony’s Music division as Sony BMG Music Entertainment. Financial analysts covering the merger anticipated that up to 2,000 jobs would be cut as a result, saving Sony BMG approximately $350 million annually (Wikipedia, 2009) Coordinated Strategies Links After Sir Howard took over he put together the Electronics Unit which consisted of: 1. The Semiconductor Business unit 2. Core component Business Unit 3. B&P Business Group 4. Audio Business Group 5. Digital Imaging Business group 6. VAIO Business Group 7. Video Business Group 8. TV Business Group 9. Connect Company

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He strategically placed all these units and groups together in order to establish Sony as a leading player. They wanted to develop a semiconductor and core components group thus they put these two relevant new business units under the Electronics Unit. With this new engineering structure Sony wanted to increase their internally sourced components, centralize their engineering functions and reduce their cost by consolidating and cutting down their manufacturing sites. Vertical Integration Links By coordinating the flow of it’s internally sources components and by standardizing designs through out the company Sir Howard has managed to reduce cost and enhance product development. New-Business Creation Links Vertical integration is very obvious in the Sony business as they try to enter the digital world they are buying companies and doing joint ventures to meet the specific needs of their customers and that is to bring the mobile, music, gaming and video entertainment together. Sony is in a good position to do a backward or forward integration in case it decides to do so. The structure is flexible enough to accommodate that. The links are best handled through self-managed networking among units n top management should leave this up to the unit rather than impose to-down coordination process.

The Redundant Hierarchy Test:
The Organization Structure: The Redundant Hierarchy Test

Very Poor

Poor

Satisfactory

Good

Very Good

Figure 4 – The redundant Hierarchy Test

The reason we have placed them between satisfactory and good is because although the company had many parent levels in the organization they were able to reduce the redundancy through standardizing they internal sourced components. Sony also standardized its designs across the different units and in its core business which was the Electronics Business they had five committees across each group which were the product, technology, production, procurement and sales. This centralization has helped to reduce effort and poor coordination. Also, with Howard traveling around Sony’s operations at a rate of 30,000 air miles a month (Nakamoto 2006) he tends to increase the communication gap between the different groups and companies at Sony.

The Accountability Test
The Organization Structure: The Accountability Test

Very Poor

Poor

Satisfactory

Good

Very Good

Figure 5 – The Accountability Test

The reason we have placed them between good and very good is because in the multidivisional structure the overall structure of the company is flat. Thus, most of the units are directly reporting to the corporate office. This increases the responsibility and accountability of each unit heads.

The Flexibility Test

The Organization Structure: The Flexibility Test

Very Poor

Poor

Satisfactory

Good

Very Good

Figure 6 – The Flexibility Test

The reason we have placed them between good in the case of its flexibility is because Sony’s structure after Sir Howard Stringer had made it flexible for the company like the Sony Mobile business unit to merge with Ericsson Sony’s Music Entertainment division had a 50-50 joint venture with Bertelsmann Music Group. Sony also sold many of its non-core assets like the restaurant chains etc after its restructuring since it made it easy by moving these noncore business units out of the way to concentrate on the core business.

THE RISK AND BENEFITS OF THE M U LT I D I V I S I O N A L S T R U C T U R E
As we found out through our analysis that Sony Corporation has a multidivisional structure and Goold and Campbell’s five tests of good general design principles helps us to see what risks and benefits that Sony Corporation faced when Howard Stringer took over.

The Benefits
1. In Electronics group Sony placed centralized decision-making power over key areas under the Electronics CEO. This change assures coordination and focus across newly defined business groups. 2. Exact horizontal coordination in main areas- product planning, technology, procurement, manufacturing, and sales and marketing-will allow fast and streamlined decision making across product lines. 3. Concentration on particular business area (Games, Entertainment, Electronics, Mobile phones) 4. Flexible (Sony Corporation can focus it’s resources on different business groups, which depends on market situation, add, close or merge divisions ) 5. Specialization of competence (We can see that each division has actually become its own company like the Sony Electronics Inc., the Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.) 6. Ability to give clear direction and make a working environment that draws out the unique talents of employees and helps them to reach their full potential 7. Encourages general management development 8. Ownership of strategy (As per the strategies implemented we can see clearly that he had devised different strategies for each core product that Sony was providing and so he also divided the company’s organizational structure the same way) 9. Investment in core businesses 10. Sony divisions enable to work in tandem for their mutual advantage (to develop new-age products).

The Risks
1. Conflicts between divisions 2. Additional cost of the center 3. Difficulty of co-operation between business groups (due to the large organization structure of the company the knowledge sharing and cooperation between the business units become very limited but Howard Stringer has tried overcoming this by placing five strategic committees across the business units) 4. Divisions might grow too large (as we said before each division has actually become its own company like the Sony Electronics Inc. or the Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and there is a risk of them grow too large) 5. Power is centralized 6. As CEO Sir Howard Stringer recalled in a 2005 New Yorker article, the engineers started to suffer from a damaging “not invented here syndrome,” even as rivals were introducing next-generation products such as the iPod and Xbox. As a result of their belief that outside ideas were not as good as inside ones, they missed opportunities in such areas as MP3 players and flat-screen TVs and developed unwanted products—cameras that weren’t compatible with the most popular forms of memory, for instance. Looking at the above risks and benefits we can see that though there were a lot of risks in the structure Sir Howard needed to make a decision and he made this decision with the help of allies in the company and he also took help from persons who were made incharge of changing the IBM structure many years back. They were successful in doing so and since Sir Howard was declared President of Sony Global we can say that he is still in there and is still fighting and restructuring to put Sony back on to globe again. Sony is today coming up with new customer focused products rather than products that are innovative but it is not what the customer wants.

T H E C U LT U R A L W E B B E F O R E H O WA R D STRINGER
Organizational culture sometimes influences the organizations strategy if taken for granted. Culture has played a role in Sony’s current financial difficulties. They had power blocks which hindered the flow of communication and corporation between the management, designers, production and marketing. The Cultural Web, developed by Gerry Johnson and Kevan Scholes in 1992, provides one such approach for looking at and changing your organization's culture. Using it, you can expose cultural assumptions and practices, and set to work aligning organizational elements with one another, and with your strategy. The Cultural Web identifies six interrelated elements that help to make up what Johnson and Scholes call the "paradigm" - the pattern or model - of the work environment. By analyzing the factors in each, you can begin to see the bigger picture of your culture: what is working, what isn't working, and what needs to be changed. The six elements are: Power Structures: Sony had a culture, were long serving executives have very strong influence on the organization. At their annual general meetings all these executives take up the front seats whiles the lower ranks are relegated to the back. Many of the working seniors did not even discuss their share values and did not have the involvement in the business. Control Systems: Sony emphasized on budget plans and emergency fixes as their main control systems. Quality was not really emphasized, they believed in getting the work done with the least amount of cost. Lower level staffs were not awarded for their achievements or bonuses given at the end of the year. All these were aimed at controlling cost. Organizational Structure: They had the functional/Transnational type of organization where the CEO sits at the top and all functional heads report to him. They believe in top management taking all the decisions without the involvement of the junior level engineers. These caused lack of communication and co-operation between the various units and more of delegation to get the problem solved.

Stories: Sony had gone through continuous restructuring for the past 9 years to improve their financial positions. Sony was not customer focused. They did not invest in non-core businesses and lacked newage products even though they had very good and talented engineers. Although Sony believed in harmony of the people and the company but with all this restructuring the morale of the employees was down and this was evident when there was a comment that there is sparkle in the eyes of the employees after Howard Stringer took over. Rituals & Routines: As per the Japanese culture of respect Sony had a ritual that it never fired its high rank executives even after retiring. The senior managers were made “Advisor” (Gunther, 2006) and each of them had their own secretary, a car and driver and they also had the authority to second-question people who were actually working at Sony. At Sony the ritual was that if an engineer came to know about a fault in the product they would let the seniors know they would just fix the problem and just do it. Thus seniors were not involved in the business Symbols: There was a symbol of seniority when the company never really retired its senior managers and also in the fact that during annual meetings the seniors would be given the preferred and best seats in the hall while the others were given uncomfortable seats to symbolize the importance that Sony gave to its senior managers. To create the harmony they want and give employees a range of different health and wellness programs. Some of those (as taken from the Sony Site) are as below: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. They provided On-site fitness centers On-site flu shots On-site cafeterias Wellness fairs 100% medical and dental plans Health risk assessments Gym discounts Stop Smoking programs Nutrition information

Stories Continuous restructuring Morale was down Believed in the harmony of the environment and the people’s freedom of working in that environment Symbols Senior management given big pays No one really gets retired Health related programs and discounts available. Complete Medical covered. The Paradigm Respect for Seniors Emphasis on Harmony throughout the company Health and wellness programs, discounts and medical coverage Engineer-driven Culture New innovative products

Ritual & Routines Respect for senior managers Work in Harmony giving employees the best working environment. Seniors never got fired. Engineers got the freedom to do what they wanted to. Engineers did not inform senior managers of faults they just fixed it.

Power Structure A lot of power was given to seniors in the company who were not involved in the day to day work. Less responsibility on the shoulder of the seniors managers as responsibility was not taken

Control Systems Budgets Emergency Fixes

Organizational Structures Transnational Branches/devolved Delegative leadership style Engineer-driven culture

Figure 7- Cultural Web before Howard Stringer became CEO of Sony Global

Sony Corporation mainly focused on giving the best environment to its employees especially its engineers who were the minds behind the innovations. A high level of respect was kept between the senior and junior employees in the company. Various Health and wellness programs and benefits were available for employees. Sony was an engineer-driven culture which put what the engineers thought and innovated before what the customers wanted or what the market demanded.

T H E C U LT U R A L W E B A F T E R H O WA R D STRINGER
Power Structures: Howard was made the new CEO thus giving power of the company to him. He was able to make changes but very smartly Howard made Chubachi his right hand man since he was aware that he was the first non-Japanese CEO of the company. His power can be seen in the fact that Howard is now President of Sony in 2009. Control Systems: There was a more cost control in the company through reduction of employees in many of the sites. Manufacturing companies were consolidated and shut down in many areas. Rewards and bonuses based on group performance (not seniority) after Howard Stringer had taken over. Organizational Structure: With the structural changes that Howard had made to the company Sony had a flatter structure. Management was made to be more involved in each of the business units of the company. There was more responsibility given to senior and middle management. Stories: As per Chubachi, it was said that since Sir Howard had taken over “there was a sparkle in the eyes of the employees”. The over all morale of the company was better. After Howard came people were still not sure if they knew where they were leading to but they understood the company strategy which was to make the company cool again. People were more excited. Rituals & Routines: After Howard came he dissolved the advisory board that consisted of 45 senior mangers who had a say in the company even after they had retired. Main customer who had used Sony products for a long time where now giving their inputs on the Sony products. Engineers were given more appreciations. Success was being celebrated through Award ceremonies, Christmas parties, training programs and knowledge sharing sessions. Symbols: After Howard came he dissolved the advisory board that consisted of 45 senior managers who had a say in the company even after they had retired. Each of them had a secretary, a car and driver and probably many other benefits. The gap between the senior
management and the juniors was being reduced.

Stories Reduced Gap between the senior managers and juniors. People were more aware of the company strategy. Symbols Ritual & Routines Good communications Customer involvement Appreciations Giving praise Celebration of success Senior management who had retired where not taken care of by the company. Promotions based on group performance The Paradigm Respect for Seniors Emphasis on Harmony throughout the company Health and wellness programs, discounts and medical coverage New innovative products

Power Structure Engineers given limited power Management given more responsibility along with current power. Restructuring of power in the company

Control Systems Budgets Partnership agreements Financial controls Organizational Structures Multi-divisional Units based on market priority and business needs. democratic leadership style

Figure 8- Cultural Web after Howard Stringer became CEO of Sony Global

From the above cultural web we can see that Sony did not undergo major paradigm changes but did move from a transnational structure to a multi-divisional (Electronic department was a matrix) structure.

S I R H O WA R D S T R I N G E R ’ S C H A N G E MANAGEMENT
Change management is also known as Change control. It is usually referred to the process by which the change of a system/process/organization is implemented in a controlled manner. If we look at the above Cultural Webs before and after Sir Howard Stringer took over Sony we can see that in order to bring the changes as per the paradigms shown above he had to adopt a Change Management program. Organizational change management processes include techniques for creating a change management strategy which is getting everybody involved in the change process. Engaging senior managers as change leaders, they become the sponsors of the change program. You also need to build awareness of the need for change (communications) getting everybody to understand why the need for change. Developing skills and knowledge to support the change (education and training), helping employees move through the period of change (coaching by managers and supervisors), and methods to sustain the change (measurement systems, rewards and reinforcement). Howard Stringer had instituted all these processes for his change management, but due to the dominance culture that existed before Howard Stringer took over, he had some resistance against his change management programme. There were forces for change and forces against change. Using Kurt Lewin’s force field analysis tool will help us analyse some of the driving and restraining force in Howard Stringer’s change management. These were some of the forces for and against his change management.

POSITIVE FORCES ( + )

NEGATIVE FORCES ( - )

• • • • • • • •

He came from a different culture and a different way of doing things Customers want new products Improve speed of production and raise volumes of out put Involvement of all employees using the bottom-up approach Experience and talented engineers It was a long-term strategy Introducing new technologies Reducing cost

 

Dominant values where they believe in top management taking all the decisions They believe in the status quo, the normal way of doing things Not customer focused Fear of losing their position or become redundant Uncertainty not sure if the change program will work or not

As per Johnson and Scholes in their book Exploring Competitive Strategy they have provided a framework for strategic change.
Diagnosing the change situation  Managing Styles and roles  Levers for managing change

In the case of Sony it is evident that Sir Howard adopted the Reconstruction type of strategic change. In this type of a change the paradigm does not fundamentally change but there will be major organizational restructuring and cost cutting. From the report we can see that Sony did not undergo major paradigm changes but did move from a transnational structure to a multi-divisional (matrix) structure. There was a lot of emphasis on cost cutting in the organization as well with the shut down and consolidation of manufacturing sites and the closing of non-core businesses. The style adopted by Sir Howard could mostly be seen as the “Education and Communication” and the “Collaboration/Participation”. Sir Howard was buying the trust of the top management and making the strategy clear to all members of the company. He had his own set of allies in the company that helped him make a new strategic change.

These two styles of change are both time consuming and also from the case study we see that like in an education and communication style of managing change, the companies future was not completely clear but the people trusted him to make Sony cool again. In case of a Collaboration/Participation style we can see that almost within the existing paradigm Sir Howard had been successful to a huge degree. The situation that Sony was in it required a leader and a reason for change. Sir Howard Stringer became the leader they needed and his allies and top management became the change agents. The levers for change are the outer rings of the Cultural Web and can also be the paradigm of the situation before Sir Howard Stringer took over Sony. The change was well communicated with in the company as Sir Howard made many trips around the world to make sure that he communicated clearly the change he was planning to implement.

C O N C LU S I O N
In simple words if we had to conclude it would be best effective to see the progress chart of the company since Sir Howard Stringer took over Sony as the new CEO.

(Source: http://www.engadget.com/2009/05/14/sony-posts-1b-loss-first-in-14-years/)

Ergo, whatever Sir Howard Stringer did pretty much worked until the recession hit the global market. To see the chart until 2009 kindly refer to Appendix D.

REFERENCES
Book − Porter, M.E. Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing

Industries and Companies. New York: Free Press, 1980 Internet

Clayton, H 13 March 2005. Sony Stops Bowing to tradition and promises to be ‘cool again – Business Anaylsis & Features. The INDEPENDENT Business [Online]. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-andfeatures/sony-stops-bowing-to-tradition-and-promises-to-be-coolagain-528184.html [Accessed 14 October 2009]

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APPENDICES
Appendix A: Structural Assignment (2005)
On 7 March 2005, Sony announced a new organizational structure headed as shown below:

Structural Heads
Sir Howard Stringer: Chairman, Group CEA and Representative Corporate Executive Officer of Sony Corporation Sir Howard Stringer: Head of the Entertainment Business Group and Head of Sony Corporation of America Ryoji Chubachi: Representative Corporate Executive Officer, President of Sony and CEO of the Electronics Business Group of the company. Katsumi Ihara: Representative Corporate Executive Officer, Executive Deputy President and Group CFO, and would also oversee financial matters and support Stringer and Chubachi in corporate strategy and resource allocation.

Strategy Committee heads
In the electronic section the committee heads were as below: Yutaka Nakagawa: Product Strategy Committee Ryoji Chubachi: Sales Strategy Committee and Production Strategy Committee Katsumi Ihara: Procurement Strategy Committee Keiji Kimura: Technology Strategy Committee.

Appendix (2009)

B:

Sony

Group

Information

Sony Group Organizational Chart
Summary (as of July 1st, 2009). The chart has been taken from Sony Global (2009) (http://www.sony.net)

The below lists of the organizational structure is based on the Sony Global Organizational Structure as of 1st July 2009. The entire group has been divided into 7 major groups.
Namely these groups are as follows: 1. Sony Disc & Digital Solutions 2. B2B Solutions Business Group 3. Consumer Products & Devices group a. Semiconductor Business group b. Device Solutions Business group c. Personal imaging & Sound Business group d. Home Entertainment Business group 4. Networked Products & Services Group a. Network Mobile Center b. Sony Media Software and Services c. Personal Device Business Division d. VAIO Business group e. Sony Computer Entertainment 5. Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications 6. Sony Music Entertainment 7. Sony Pictures Entertainments 8. Sony Financial Holdings Group

Appendix Company (2005)

C:

Detail Strategy

Vision (2005): “make Sony cool again” Vision (2009): “make.believe” In 2005, Howard Stringer had proposed Sony’s growth strategies as “Strengthening Group Performance through Revitalization of Electronics” which he would achieve through structural reforms and centralized decision making. The three-year revitalization plan was as follows. 7. Restructuring the Electronics Organization New Business Groups for Specific Product categories were created and each Corporate Executive Officers were given clear responsibilities at the Electronic Headquarters level to oversee cross divisional functions. This eliminated the corporate silos and brought more focus on their competitive growth. 8. Improving Sony’s Profit Structure a. Cost Reductions The plan was to cut 200 billion yen in costs by 2007 by downsizing, alliances and disposals of 15 business categories, the number of models created would reduce by 20% and the manufacturing sites would reduce from 65 to 54. The total headcount would reduce by 10,000 employees by 2007. b. Sale of Real Estate, Stock and Non-Core Assets Costs of 120 billion yen would be saved by reviewing and disposing (were necessary) real estate, stock and non-core assets. 9. Strengthening Sony’s Current Electronics Business Main focus areas of the Electronics business would be on television, digital imaging, DVD recorders and portable audio. The target was to be profitable in television by the second half of 2006. 10. Focusing Resources on Growth Strategy a. Making the HD World and Major Profit Pillar

Launching of a range of high-definition products such as a range of Blu-ray disc related products and HD content in 2006. b. Focusing on Intelligent & Interoperable Products This would be a growth area for Sony and they would strengthen their efforts in developing network-enabled products and applications c. Strengthening Technology Development i. Creation of Home and Mobile Platforms New LSI systems would be introduced to integrate across a range of home entertainment products and a new system LSI would be created for mobile products to enhance performance and lower power consumptions. ii. Concentrating Investment on Semiconductors and Key Component Devices Blu-ray Disc-Related Devices/Imagers/Cell: Sony would concentrate on these products and continuously enhance them. iii. Next-Generation Display The focus will be on self-luminous flat panel Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) displays iv. Enhancing Software Development The mission of the technology Development group would be to effectively utilize the global resources for software development including expanded resources in US and China. 11. Group Convergence Strategy a. Pursuit of mobile entertainment The goal would be to develop products and services that enable consumers to enjoy entertainment content “on the go”. b. Establishment of Cell Development Center A Cell development center will be established under the direct supervision of Sony’s CEO to promote development of Cell-based technology, products and applications. 12. Group Strategy by Individual Sector a. Games

Playstation 3 will be launched which will strengthen Sony Group and grow the market for computer entertainment, links with electronics and entertainment would be expanded and the PlayStation Potable will be enhanced. b. Entertainment i. Motion Pictures Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) will continue its pattern of stable growth with the industry’s largest digitized content and on recently acquiring MGM library where SPE is the sole distributors and it is being rapidly digitized. ii. Music Sony’s merger with BMG would strengthen the company’s management. Sony Music Entertainment Japan continues to show growth both in sales and profits c. Mobile Phones Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications will produce new product to leverage the entertainment assets of the Sony Group. The Walkman phone is an example of the same. d. Financial Services The three business – Sony Life, Sony Assurance and Sony Bank are maintaining profits and delivering strong and consistent results. e. Network Services, Retail Sony Communication Network Corporation is targeting an IPO for this fiscal year to allow it to develop an independent strategy for growth and the realization of its corporate value. f. Retail Business In the retail businesses, strategic alternatives to maximize the value of the assets, including alliances with relevant partners would be explored.

Appendix D: Sony Operating Chart (2009)

(Source: http://www.engadget.com/2009/05/14/sony-posts-1b-loss-first-in-14-years/)

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