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Sony vs Samsung: The Inside Story of the Electronics Giants' Battle For Global Supremacy Paperback – August 8, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0470823712 ISBN-10: 0470823712

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley (August 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470823712
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470823712
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

In 2002 a milestone occurred in the electronics industry. The market capitalization of Sony fell below that of Samsung for the first time.
Why did the performance of Sony, which once dominated the global electronics industry,drop so rapidly while Samsung emerged from nowhere?

This fascinating book from leading business professor Sea-Jin Chang compares key strategic decisions by Sony and Samsung with respect to technology, marketing, organizational infrastructure, and globalization strategies from the mid-1990s to 2006.

One of the key findings drawn from this book is that the performance differences between Sony and Samsung cannot be attributed solely to their strategies. Rather, organizational processes and executive leadership also contributed significantly to their performances. The author examines these contributions in detail and in doing so reveals much about each company’s approach to global expansion and their key
factors for success and failure.

Sony vs. Samsung examines the challenges that Samsung faces, despite its remarkable performance, while evaluating Sony’s potential, despite its current struggles. The conclusions provide useful insights for all companies involved in global competitive markets.

From the Back Cover

"Sony vs. Samsung is business history at its best! It explores the divergent fortunes of these two electronics giants in the last decade and identifies the true reasons behind Sony’s decline and Samsung’s rise. Contrary to popular belief, Chang shows that success (or failure) does not simply arise from different strategies. Rather, it emerges from major decisions that are deeply rooted in the companies’ organizational processes and their executives’ political behavior. This book is a must-read for any senior executive."
—Constantinos Markides
Robert P. Bauman Professor of Strategic Leadership and Chairman,
Strategy Department, London Business School

"Sea-Jin Chang has produced that rarity in a business book—one that is as valuable to practicing managers as it is insightful to academic researchers. In this fascinating comparison of two modern global giants, he applies his high resolution research microscope to their changing fortunes by dissecting their contrasting strategies, and providing interesting insights into their divergent organizational processes and management practices. This is a very valuable contribution to the international business literature. It will end up in as many corporate boardrooms as faculty seminars."
—Christopher A. Bartlett
Thomas D. Casserly Professor Emeritus, Harvard Business School

"Sea-Jin Chang has written a fascinating comparison of Sony and Samsung that will be valuable to anyone interested in strategy, organizations or international business. The interwoven and very detailed case studies of two very different companies in overlapping industries illuminate problems such as adaptation to technological change (analog to digital), organizational flexibility and globalization. His attempt to analyze both strategic development and implementation is successful and very useful. Both academics and practitioners will learn a lot from this book."
—Stephen J. Kobrin, William Wurster Professor of Multinational Management, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

"Refreshingly original and entertaining, this book analyzes major strategic decisions of Samsung and Sony and highlights organizational processes and top management leadership that have shaped their performances. This is a must-read for all executives who want to understand the strengths and weaknesses of Asian competitors. It also provides penetrating insights to other Asian companies with global ambitions."
—Myoung Woo Lee, President and CEO
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The stories are interesting and informative and the book is an easy read overall.
bg
It would be nice if the author wrote a 2 Ed. of the book, adding discussion of the Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and Sony Xperia phones.
jkaki
This book has great chapters on the planning, organizing and executing an expansion strategy.
Donald Hsu

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Nam on September 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
A great, easy read on business history, which spells out the vast differences between two seemingly similar electronics firms. It also brings a greater understanding as to how Samsung Electronics, being such a late starter and technologically handicapped competitor, came to become a world leader in Display and Mobile technologies with the help of digitalization.

The book outlines the organizations' differences across several dimensions. Sony has always had a corporate emphasis on creativity and ingenuity (a good read on Sony's history is Sony), but has had problems with format biases, segmented leadership, and being stuck in its own glory (Betamax, Trinitron, MD-ATRAC). In stark contrast, Samsung has focused on speed and scale through its militaristic leadership structure, however faces big hurdles in leadership transition and creative development.

Perhaps most interesting are the implications of each organization's strengths and weaknesses on its future outlook. The two are very different companies, but are direct competitors in many markets. Sony's performance under its new CEO, and Samsung's leadership transition to Lee Kun Hee's son, Lee Jae Yong, will be very interesting.

A must read for those interested in Asian vs. Western business cultures, and the electronics industry as a whole.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jkaki on September 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author does an interesting analysis of the challenges facing each company, how differing strategies were not necessarily the reason for Samsung's ascendency and Sony's descent from the top, but rather how Samsung's corporate culture and politics were better suited to adapt than Sony's. This book is only a few years old, but though it speaks of the iPod phenomenon it doesn't mention the iPhone (which came out about the time the book was published), the Samsung Galaxy phones, or Sony's recent forays into Xperia smartphones. That is not the fault of the author due to the timing of the book's release. It would be nice if the author wrote a 2 Ed. of the book, adding discussion of the Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and Sony Xperia phones.
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Could have been better structured, great view into how dysfunctional periods can be leveraged as loony as the dysfunction is timed right. You almost feel like these two organisations should be working more closely to each other - as their dysfunction is complementary.....could so easily learn from each other's strengths.
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By nnamdi on January 11, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very nice insightful book.

Credit to Samsung for the long short vision and also to Sony for paving the way.
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By Gadgetboy on September 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had an idea of the evolution of these two giants beforehand but after reading I found many pieces falling into place a lot more tightly. Much has happened in the US economy since this book was published. I wish there was a more recent edition that took into account the differences between the "old guard" Japanese and what has happened in the latest surge of the Korean methodology since we find ourselves even more deeply immersed in a disposable yet utilitarian electronics environment. Good information but hard to tell whether it is still relevant today.
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I agree with the posts here. This is a wonderful book, analyzing the difference in management style, operation, marketing, distribution, and global strategy.

Sony was the King in consumer electronics. Samsung is now beating Sony in its own game. But Samsung also got many issues. The writing style makes it easy to read and it is a page turner.

Reading this Kindle version is a good experience. I just kept turning the pages by a simple touch. It worked well anywhere including inside of a plane.
This book has great chapters on the planning, organizing and executing an expansion strategy. I recommend it to everyone.
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Sony vs Samsung: The Inside Story of the Electronics Giants' Battle For Global Supremacy
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