Globalization of Komatsu: Digging Out of Trouble

Published 27 Aug 2010
Reference 5721
Topic Strategy
Region Global
Summary

The economic 2008 recession hit Komatsu especially hard. The Japanese second largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment experienced its share price plummet by two thirds since the downturn. The drop was not the first and signalled to deeper underlying issues that could be traced back to the company’s history from domestic player; exporter, international player, to global player. The case looks to gain insights on why did early domestic and export phases succeed, while the company continued struggled in its international and global expansions.

Teaching objectives

The case carefully looks and traces the history of Komatsu to gain insights on : Why did growth strategies in different geographical locations succeed at times and fail at others? What were the implications of Komatsu?s management policies as they responded to changing domestic and global market conditions? Was a lack of a diversified top leadership inhibiting the company?s sustained growth in the global market, especially as it pushed even further into emerging markets in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East? How could they ensure that Komatsu was the exception rather than the rule to the pattern of early domestic and export success followed by international stumbles and continued global struggles?

Keywords
  • Localizing leadership
  • Organizational Change
  • Globalization
  • Internationalization
  • Regionalization
  • Bussiness Strategy and Management
  • Global Competition
  • Japanese Multinationals
  • AR0910
  • AR2010
  • RD0710
  • ADEC