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Sony Research – History and Mistakes

Me and the Wooooooooooooooorm… How many levels are there? Span of Control? Centralized/Decentralized? Formal/Informal? Functional Specialization or Cross-functional interaction? Control/Autonomy? Rigid or flexible? Communication top-down or bottom-up????? Pg 223 (Galbraith, 1995) – Shape, Specialization, Distribution of power, and departmentalization How has Sony’s structure evolved? Larry Griener, 1972. Work on organisational life cycle Mintzberg, 1979. What type of structure is Sony? Pg. 226-246

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Simple; informal, direct supervision, strategies determined at top Machine Bureaucracy; mechanistic and rigid Organic; Flexible and limited hierarchy Divisional; self contained profit centers, different product lines. Different structure within divisions Maybe worth looking at Tom Peters 20 structure related suggestions, 1997, The Circle of Innovation… ? Different Structures to support New Product/Service developments pg. 238 Does this information suggest Sony is entrepreneurial? Organisational Culture (700 words) Ch. 10

The nature of culture in organizations… pg. 250 Positive or negative Strong or weak Homogeneous (shared throughout business) or heterogeneous (multiple cultures) Importance of Culture to achieving objectives. Sony; Values; creativity, integrity, perseverance, ownership etc. Conduct; rules and accepted norms. Dress code, ethical behavior, communication channels etc Vocabulary; language, acronyms, jargon etc Methodology; rational processes, how things are achieved. Myths and Stories; history, saga, legends of an organization.

Heroes of the Sony?? Mission Statement; company vision Point out its debatable whether or not culture can be classified or if each firms culture is unique? Type A, J, or Z, process, Work hard play hard, caring, intuition based etc CULTURE HAS MANY ELEMENTS; HOWEVER WHICH ONES ARE MOST SUPPORTIVE OF ENTRREPRENEURSHIP? Focus on people and empowerment Value creation through innovation and change Attention to the basics Hands-on management Doing the right thing Freedom to grow and fail Commitment and personal responsibility Emphasis on the future, sense of urgency

Also, even if Sony have tried to be entrepreneurial, they still could have failed due to different Values conflicting rather than coexisting… pg 260-261 e. g. Empowerment, including employees in the decision making process might indicate entrepreneurial culture, yet this is counterproductive if a balance is not found as some decisions in entrepreneurial companies need to be made quickly, building consensus on decisions would therefore take too long in some circumstances. (could refer to Constraints) Individualism and Collectivism pg. 263

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