Inventing the Electronic Century: The Epic Story of the Consumer Electronics and Computer Industries

By Alfred D. Chandler Jr. | Go to book overview

3

CONSUMER ELECTRONICS: JAPAN'S
PATHS TO GLOBAL CONQUEST

As the critical contest to commercialize the videocassetterecorder began in 1970, RCA had fully embarked on its disastrous strategies. At the same lime, the two Japanese leaders, Matsushita and Sony, had fully established their integrated learning bases and weretaking the initial steps to expand their penetration into the U.S. and then the European markets. The organizational capabilities that had evolved through cumulative learning in improving existing and commercializing new technologies provided models of competitive success in global markets. Matsushita's experience exemplifies the model of successful creation and enhancement of functional capabilities. Sony's experience is a model of becoming a path definer by integrating technical with functional capabilities. Few enterprises have been more successful in commercializing a succession of major new technologies.

The evolution of the European consumer electronics industry provides still another perspective. After World War II, Philips Incandescent Lamp Works developed close ties with both of the Japanese first-movers. From the 1950s on it provided Matsushita with its technical knowledge in return for

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Inventing the Electronic Century: The Epic Story of the Consumer Electronics and Computer Industries
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Harvard Studies in Business History, 47 i
  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface to the Paperback Edition xi
  • 1: Introduction 1
  • 2: Consumer Electronics 13
  • 3: Consumer Electronics 50
  • 4: Mainframes and Minicomputers 82
  • 5: The Micrdprdcessdr Revolution 132
  • 6: The National Competitors 177
  • 7: The Consumer Electronics and Computer Industries as the Electronic Century Begins 216
  • 8: The Significance of the Epic Stdry 238
  • Appendices 259
  • Notes 275
  • Index 307
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