Free Case award

Matsushita Electric Industrial Company Ltd (MEI)

Published 01 Jan 1987
Reference 2041
Topic Strategy
Region Asia
Length 32 page(s)
Prizes & Awards

Winner of the Case Centre Awards and Competitions 1992 in the Category 'Human Resource Manangement / Organisational Behaviour'


Describes some of the organisational and administrative challenges of Matsushita - one of Japan's most successful multinationals - as it tries to respond to changes in the strategic requirements of its different businesses. The case illustrates some of the problems being faced by classic "global" companies, who maximise efficiency through a highly centralised mode of operations, and the difficulties that are experienced by these companies in developing a more "transnational" approach of optimising efficiency, flexibility and innovation at the same time.

Teaching objectives

To offer a relatively rich understanding of the internal working of a Japanese multinational, and of the strengths and vulnerabilities of this mode of operations; to explore the limitations of a unidimensional strategy based purely on achieving the highest possible efficiency and the need for multinational companies to pursue global efficiency, national responsiveness, and worldwide teaming and innovations simultaneously; to examine the challenges of managing strategic and organisational change in large and diversified multinationals as they try to become more "transnational' in their approach.