Kodak case study harvard business school. Kodak and the Brutal Difficulty of Transformation

Do we have a capital-intensive legacy business? One argument is that the company could have tried to compete on capabilities rather than on the markets it was in. The company filed for bankruptcy protection inexited legacy businesses and sold off its patents before re-emerging as a sharply smaller company in But that just fueled internal strife. They began to change the way that employees were paid.

Transformation-minded companies should be promiscuousinvesting in companies at the seeming periphery of their business.

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Phd dissertation pdf great irony is that incumbents are best positioned to seize disruptive opportunities. Following are some factors that essay on royal wedding Kodak to change its organisational structure for the survival of their business. As an electronics company, its organizational capabilities were far more aligned with what was needed to succeed.

From 's Kodak invested heavily in film and when colour photography was introduced, it was one of the few companies that had the knowledge and processes to succeed. If so, commoditization pressure will be inevitable, and the company must prepare to live on much lower margins.

Kodak Case Study

It became apparent to Kodak being a monopoly at first still that they had fallen behind the competition on the idea of improving technology and that there was a fast increase in the switch from analog to digital. Once the volume of film sales at retail stores started to drop, holding onto shelf space became harder. One could argue that exiting the business and forcing consumers to transition to new solutions was the right way to go.

As the decade wore on and its core business continued to deteriorate, Kodak brought in a new leadership team, downsized its core operations, and began placing bets on even more radical ideassuch as a line of printers with low-cost ink.

Kodak case study harvard business school my perspective, the key stumbling block was its inability to convert its technical expertise into tangible products that could be sold profitably in other words a sustainable business model. Over the course of more than a century, Kodak and a small number of its competitors had developed and refined manufacturing processes that enabled consumers to capture and preserve images for a lifetime.

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Much has been written about the importance of building an ecosystem when a new product or service has to leverage complementary assets. This is key to maximizing cash flow while trying to execute a transition. Why did Kodak fail to achieve the integration of external and internal knowledge?

The answer lies in the quality of management. The introduction of portable video cameras gave consumers a way to produce their own images and capture video easily.

Polaroid-Kodak - Case - Harvard Business School Where they failed was in realizing that online photo sharing was the new business, not just a way to expand the printing business. The strongest one is survived because they have effective qualities and characteristics which help them to best compete with in their competitors.

Management was constantly tracking the rate at which digital media was replacing film. In fact, Kodak invested billions to develop a range of digital cameras.


After decades of being an undisputed world leader in film photography, Kodak built the first digital camera back in A strong customer base was also built, which includes a huge amount of target customers who changed from the traditional camera to the digital camera. In Studies 1 and 2, when asked to list their core goals in kodak case study harvard business school, women listed more life goals overall than men, and a smaller proportion of their goals related to achieving power at work.

This is not a unique problem — it happens in other markets that are being affected by low-cost imports, market fragmentation, or the cyclical decline of products as newer, more sophisticated products are introduced. An ideal response involves a portfolio and pipeline of growth strategies — again, started early enough that they have time to iterate, incubate, and grow.

Even though they have a very long history of promoting their products, they should have continued advertising their products to remain in consumer's minds when they go to purchase a product. Not only did Fanuc manage to successfully adopt new electronic technology, it also became a dominant leader. The camera was as big as a toaster, took 20 seconds to take an image, had low quality, and required complicated connections to a television to view, but it clearly had ball drop homework physics disruptive potential.

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Start before you need to. Kodak is based in Rochester, New York, where it was the largest employer and has a towering influence. Kodak remains a sad story of potential lost. Kodak was the only one that developed many of the components of digital photography, yet the new form of photographic technology has had a serious, unconstructive impact on the firm business.

It was so close. As a result, Kodak remained stuck in the lower end of the digital camera kodak case study harvard business school and could never compete in the high end of the spectrum, which is where the bulk of the profits are.

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So, if your company is beginning to talk about a digital transformation, make sure you ask three questions: You can see a picture of the camera on this Kodak blog, the title of which is a story in itself: Many consumers see Kodak's cameras as being "cheaply" made. They should have spend more money on the research and development areas of the company. In real life, unfortunately, Kodak how to write introduction of a literature review Ofoto to try to get more people to print digital images.

Fuji and other Japanese companies were able to design paper used for printing film at much cheaper rates than Kodak could offer to their consumers. Kodak had little knowledge in the field and was up against a group of dedicated companies with many years of focus and research 2.

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But scaling down is hard to do. Kodak invented a camera which used a disk with a negative smaller than the one within the pocket sized Instamatic camera.

Kodak’s Downfall Wasn’t About Technology

Kodak management has been criticized for compromising its digital efforts because it wanted to protect film. Among them are: In Studies 3 and 4, compared to men, women viewed high-level positions as less desirable yet equally attainable. While the majority of its profits came from manufacturing and selling film, retail partners made large profits from photo finishing.

Since the turn of the century however, the fortunes of the once mighty photographic firm have plummeted.

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In response, Fanuc began a huge effort to shift to computer controls. But from the period 's's Kodak encountered problems of market share, revenues, competitors and technological explosion which was rapidly threatening the survival of their business.

  1. Is our core technology converging to the point of being replaced by a general-purpose technology platform?
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  3. A failure of focus: Lessons from Kodak | Think Business

These building blocks abstracted almost all the technology required, so you no longer needed a lot of experience and specialized skills. Indeed for much of the twentieth century Kodak was an American industrial icon — at one point enjoying a similar status as tech giant Apple does today.

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In hindsight, there were two ecosystem design problems. That sometimes leads the winners to believe in their own infallibility.