Canon: Competing on Capabilities

Published 01 Jan 1992
Reference 2253
Topic Strategy
Industry Printing
Region Global
Length 21 page(s)
Language English
Prizes & Awards

This case is amongst the top 50 most popular cases in the 50 years history of The Case Centre – 1973-2023

2004 ecch Best-selling Case

Winner of the Case Centre Awards and Competitions 1996 in the Category 'Policy and General Management'


Canon has sustained a very high growth rate by continuously building new capabilities and exploiting these capabilities. In particular, the case focuses on the company's organizational structures and management processes that support its ability to build and leverage competencies.

Teaching objectives

The case examines the resource-based (or core competency-based) view of strategy; it illustrates how such an approach differs from, and complements, the more traditional conceptualization of strategy focused on industry structure; to discuss the organizational attributes necessary to manage a company as a portfolio of capabilities.

  • AR1992