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BUS 302 Assignment 1 Kodak and Fujifilm Research paper






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Kodak and Fujifilm
Assignment 1 Kodak and Fujifilm
Strayer University- BUS 302
Describe the history and core business of each company.
Kodak, formerly known as Eastman Kodak Company, was founded by
George Eastman in 1888. The company’s early success was based on
the launch of its revolutionary camera which simplified the photo taking
process (Kodak, n.d.). Kodak’s main focus was photography and
imaging, and its products ranged from photography equipment to film,
paper and color chemicals. By the 1980’s, Kodak’s market share
reached an amazing 90%. Although they developed the basic
technology for digital cameras in 1975, the idea was dropped due to fear
that it would threaten the company’s film business (Williams, 2013).
Because Kodak executives could not imagine the world without
traditional film, they failed to realize how fast digital cameras would
become common; the technology started to spread and film sales
dropped considerably at the late 1990’s. The slow transition to digital
technology, denial of the declining film usage, and competition from
other companies eventually lead to Kodak’s loss of market share both in
the United States and worldwide, placing Kodak at a 7th position. In
January 2012, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection,
and a year later the Court approved financing for them. Kodak sold
many of its patents to a group of companies such as Apple, Google,
Microsoft, and others.
Fujifilm, a Japanese company, was founded in 1934. They also focused
on photography and imaging. The company soon ruled the Japanese
market, which was ranked second after the United States in film usage.
Eventually, the company entered the global and American market with a
bold move, using aggressive marketing and low prices. The turning point
of the Fujifilm’s success in this venture was marked by the 1984 Los
Angeles Olympics, when they became the official film of the event. This
placed Fujifilm on the market permanently, and the company started

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taking over Kodak’s market share by offering equal quality products for a
cheaper price (Fujifilm, n.d.). As Fujifilm prepared for the fast changing
needs in the market, it widened its business scope to digital cameras,
printers, photocopiers, and optical devices. It also tapped into the health
sector, producing medical equipment that includes X-ray imaging and
Compare and contrast the approach to management that each company
has pursued in order to embrace innovation.
Kodak’s failure to embrace innovation in a timely fashion could be
blamed on its management’s approach. They seemed to “rule” from
behind the desk from their Rochester headquarters, which made them
ignorant about the coming changes in technology and customers needs,
and how it would affect them. Even when they were advised that the
move to digital technology was necessary, management still refused to
take action. In fact, avoiding revolutionizing the technology they
originally created is the main reason behind Kodak’s current troubles
and loss of share in the market (Williams, 2013). Although they created
the first ever digital camera back in 1975, top-level management rejected
the idea in fear of losing its core business in film. Looking back, this
seems to be the turning point in the company’s fortune (Mui, 2012). The
predicted change to digital technology 20 years later was seen as the far
future, and as the company enjoyed success, leadership did not see a
reason for change.
In recent years, however, Kodak tried to change its management
strategy in embracing innovation. They shifted to delocalize research
and collect data, in order to gather more information about consumer
preferences. They also diversified top-level management to ensure best
skill input in each field, and implemented a more democratic
management style that listens to staff suggestions and ideas (Williams,
Fuji, on the other hand, took a different approach from the beginning;
while they were successful in the film business, they prepared for the
switch to digital technology and developed new business lines. Initially,
they started off as a photography and imaging company, then diversified
into different other products such as digital cameras, cosmetology, and
medical equipment. This enabled Fujifilm to achieve profits depending
on the preferences of their various customer bases.

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After its successful dominance in the Japanese market, Fujifilm realized
the potential in venturing into the global market. The 1984 Olympics in
Los Angeles marked the breakthrough point in this venture, when
Fujifilm became the official film of the event. This provided the company
the opportunity to get a growing portion of Kodak’s market share
(Schum, 2012). A joint venture with the UK based Xerox (Fuji Xerox)
helped establish further global production and sales. Their consolidated
funds equipped both companies with capability for innovation, research
& development, and investments.
Determine what other management differences have impacted the
relative success of Kodak and Fujifilm. Provide specific examples to
support your response.
Resistance to change by management was a major cause for the failure
of Kodak. They felt their initial plans and strategy worked so well that
change wasn’t needed. They developed a false sense of security and
failed to realize and counteract the threat posed by Fujifilm. Apparently,
despite having great ideas, the management team never actually
implemented them (Mui, 2012). Kodak also seemed to believe that its
core strength lay in brand and marketing, and that it could simply partner
or buy its way into new industries, such as drugs or chemicals. But
without in-house expertise, Kodak lacked the ability to integrate the
companies it had purchased and to negotiate profitable partnerships
(Schum, 2012).
Unlike Kodak, Fujifilm implemented its goals and ideas, and the
company’s quick adaptation to change was a defining advantage over
Kodak. When they realized the impending move towards digital
technology in the early 1980’s they prepared for it and diversified their
business lines. This way they were able to replace lost profits from film
sales with new revenues, and reinvested those profits in research and
development (Schum, 2012). They also utilized diversity as a key
management strategy, and invested in various alternate products such
as medical equipment and digital technology while realized the need to
develop in-house expertise in the new businesses.
Evaluate each company’s approach to ethics and social responsibility
and the impact those approaches have had on each company’s

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