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Korean Multinational Electronics Companies Business Essay Example

This paper explores how Korean multinational electronics companies have undergone a metamorphosis in their modes of operation and the efforts they employ to achieve sustainability and competitiveness in the international market. In this regard, numerous Korean electronics companies have outperformed electronics firms in other countries such as Japan in the global environment. In view of the delicate nature of rivalry in the electronics industry due to easily imitable segmental artifact design, many of the Korean global companies have adopted different competitive strategies that ensure they are ahead in terms of competitiveness. First, the Korean electronics multinational firms have moved out of their narrow domestic market and are presently exploring international markets and are so far successful. In fact, they have engrossed on the global marketplace, which is vastly extensive and requires effective management at all levels of production as a fundamental strategy.


This paper will focus on one of the biggest Korean international electronics firm known as Samsung Electronics from a business strategy standpoint. This paper will then explore how it has attained the global competitiveness in comparison to other enterprises in the same industry in most of the electronics products that apply modular architecture. The paper will further examine how Samsung Electronics and Gold Star have pursued a localization strategy, particularly its application of premeditated management practices in two diverse nations. In short, this paper will answer the question to what extent Korean electronics multinationals have established competitive leadership in international markets.

Multinational companies have encountered a noticeable shift in their international business environment in the last few decades. The political impact has expanded, innovative improvements have proceeded quickly, and the rivalry has increased. Multinationals from Korea have encountered particularly remarkable changes with regard to competitiveness in the global market. The connections between all the principal partners, the administration, the workers’ unions, the Japanese and other remote contenders have all transformed. Consequently, the research on Korean multinational electronics companies gives a fascinating chance to take a look at the degree to which changes and transformation in the electronics industry have prompted changes in the process, structure and administration frameworks. The two Korean electronics organizations, Samsung Electronics Corporation and GoldStar Corporation, serve as the best example. Each is a piece of a chaebol, and they are two of the greatest consumer electronics producers outside Japan. GoldStar was the first organization to enter the Korean gadgets industry, and it delighted by a proper business sector authority until the mid-1980s. Samsung Electronics was built up in 1969, eleven years after GoldStar. On the other hand, by 1989, Samsung had made up for lost time with GoldStar and became the biggest consumer electronics manufacturer in Korea. Thus, it is important to comprehend the performances of both organizations as the best among the Korean electronics firms. To achieve this, relevant reports and archival records were gathered and examined.

The need to fit in between environment and association procedure and structure is one of the most established ideas that most administrations concentrate on. A recent examination of 40 MNCs reconfirmed the significance for execution of a necessary fit in between environment and association. On the other hand, it is noteworthy that most organizations are changing to what can be considered as a dynamic interface (Sachwald 2001). The investigation of this practical cooperation requires a more itemized contextual investigation approach where changes are recorded over a particular time-frame.

Between the late 1980s and mid-1990s, Korean electronics multinationals have changed their association procedure and structure because of environmental or market changes in comprehensively similar ways (Kim & Kim 2006). There are, in any case, noteworthy contrasts in execution and in the progressions they have made to their particular control forms (Mathews 2006). It appears that Korean multinationals with solid formal control procedures perform superior to those with other control forms. The examination depicted in this paper means to add to this assortment of information by portraying and investigating the dynamic connections between environment, hierarchical methodology and structure and significant control forms in two Korean multinational hardware organizations between the mid-eighties and 1993 (Martinez & Jarillo 1989). These changes have helped shape the Korean companies in the electronics industry to achieve a competitive advantage in both local and global market presently.

Changes in Environment and Organization


The domestic and international environmental changes that have so far influenced Korean electronics corporations over the past couple of years can be summarized as follows:

Economic Change

In the developing nations, many organizations have faced the challenge of meeting the demands of the consumers. The challenge keeps changing due to economic shifts. Consumers of electronics keep changing their preferences depending of the prevailing trends and their economic status. In fact, the value of the Korean won has also changed against the Japanese yen amid the late 1990s (Kim & Kim 2006). The conversion standard of one yen to 8.43 won toward the end of 2007 had recognized to one yen to 4.84 gained toward the end of 2009. Also, the pay level in Korea multiplied somewhere around 2007, and this made them see the value of competition in this particular sector.

Technological Change

The item life cycle of customer gadgets is regularly shortening. Also, the Japanese organizations, which have been the primary wellspring of mechanical improvements, are turning out to be more hesitant to give new innovation to Korean electronics groups (Mathews 2006).

Political Change

With the development of territorial economic blocs, protectionism has expanded in cutting edge nations. Most Korean electronics items have confronted exchange boundaries, for example, against dumping claims and amounts. Now and again, positive import obligations have been forced and abroad speculation has been liable to local content rules. In the meantime, the Korean government, which had been a reliable defender of the domestic gadgets industry, was advancing liberalization and a more open exchanging framework (Kwon, Dong-Kee & Chung-Sok 2004).


Strategy and Structure

These environmental challenges are the major fundamental changes in terms of policy and structure of Samsung and GoldStar, which are some of the biggest players in this sector.

Switch from Cost Leadership to Product Differentiation

Samsung has changed its strategic approach from expense administration to separation. In the late 1080s, Samsung’s methodology was to create enormous amounts of inexpensive items by exploiting minimal effort work. GoldStar has likewise moved its essential technique “from volume to value”. GoldStar believes that without quality electronic items, it cannot compete in the international market (Mathews 2002).

Technology Development

To deliver quality items, Samsung is seeking to employ a driven innovation improvement technique. It had expanded innovative work and research from 3.8 % of aggregate incomes in 1998 to 10 % in 2003. From 2007 to 2013, Samsung set up eleven new research centers in the U.S., Japan and Germany to create and gain new innovation. GoldStar has expanded Research and Development spending fundamentally. GoldStar burned through 7 % of aggregate incomes on research and development interest in 2013 up from 3% to 12% (Kwon, Dong-Kee & Chung-Sok 2004). GoldStar built up three abroad research centers while working together with Zenith to develop superior quality of high definition television.

Improving Profitability

The recent Samsung’s approach has been towards getting the acceptable cost. Samsung felt that the cost of its items was unreasonably low in comparison with its Japanese counterparts as a result of a poor brand image. To enhance the brand image, Samsung launched an enormous advancement battle in the past three years. The issue of low profitability was much greater for GoldStar. For a few years, GoldStar yielded benefit in head-to-head rivalry with Samsung for business sector leadership in Korea. Since the business environment has changed unfavorably, GoldStar has chosen to end the competition with Samsung (Kwon, Dong-Kee & Chung-Sok 2004). Rather it concentrated on production and profitability, and it cut 20 for every penny of its workforce in the past few years.

Broadening Overseas Sales

Samsung is widening its strategic approach to other firms who have proved to be a threat to the industry to the point of infiltrating a few locales around the world, and not only focusing on the U.S. Samsung has set up six provincial central commands in Latin America, Europe and Africa, Eastern Europe, China, North America and the Middle East to facilitate and control operations abroad. Similarly, GoldStar has set up nine local HQs in North America, Middle and South America, Western Europe, Middle East, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, China, Japan and the CIS. GoldStar has additionally presented the strategy to the GSGS (GoldStar Global Service) to facilitate the process of aligning its abroad after-sales administration and GSGL (GoldStar Global Logistics) to incorporate its sourcing system (Mathews 2002).

Shifting Production Overseas

Samsung has moved a huge piece of its production base abroad by gigantic FDI (remote personal speculation) to LDCs. Until the late 1980s, Samsung had concentrated on building up showcasing and administration abroad and had just a couple of fabricating auxiliaries in the developed nations to evade exchange strife. Nevertheless, in the past decade, Samsung started to move its generation base to LDCs. It then built fifteen assembling plants abroad, which incorporate semiconductor plants and additionally consumer electronics sequential construction systems. GoldStar has additionally begun to move its manufacturing base from Korea and propelled nations to LDCs to minimize its generation costs. GoldStar’s objective is to expand its abroad production from 10 % to 30 % by the end of 2015 (Mathews 2002).

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Change to Product Division-Oriented Structure

Originally, Samsung was made up of four business bunches (consumer gadgets, semiconductors, information transfers, and data frameworks), and every business group had its own local president and qualified staff. The company later took a significant rebuilding and blended these four groups into one. Presently, Samsung has one chairman and one arrangement of functional offices (Eun 2008). In the meantime, the structure of abroad operations transformed from international division to item units. Before rebuilding, all the abroad auxiliaries were controlled by an extensive business HQ (Thompson 1998). In fact, most companies believe that when they expand their operations abroad, they are likely to increase their profitability. GoldStar’s rebuilding, which has been fundamentally similar to that of Samsung, further occurred in 1992. In that year, the global division structure was abrogated, and GoldStar built up 9 SBUs (Strategic Business Units) and 29 OBUs (Operational Business Units).

A large portion of the decision-making powers was designated to administrators of the SBUs, leaving HQ’s staff doing coordination and supporting work (Nicolas 2007). Despite that the structure of both Samsung and GoldStar is not an immaculate type of international product division, the part of item gatherings is reinforced, and the administrators of item groups now have significantly more choice making force than some time recently (Nicolas 2007). In fact, to adapt to the expanding work cost and acknowledging won, Samsung and GoldStar releaved beyond 10% of their workforce and moved to production to LDCs (Shin & Ha-Joon 2003).

To modest rival items from LDCs, Samsung and GoldStar are moving their products up market, presenting item division structures and putting vigorously in R&D to adapt to perpetually shortening PLCs and Japanese organizations’ hesitance to give new innovations (Jwa & Lee 2004). Reacting to the increasing protectionism from cutting edge nations, the Korean organizations are enhancing their abroad market and have set up a few territorial headquarters. Lastly, to respond to the administration’s liberalization strategy, Korean firms have decreased no holds barred rivalry; rather they attempt to enhance productivity and create quality items (Nicolas 2007).

The study so far demonstrates that Samsung and GoldStar have rolled out comparable improvements in technique and structure. It appears that adjustments in the business environment have had a critical role in deciding changes in system and structure (Amsden 1989). Nonetheless, the investigation has been at an extremely broad level. For a full comprehension of the relationship in the middle of environment and association, we should likewise take a gander at what changes have occurred at the administrative level (Van Hoesel 1999). Hence, we now swing to a correlation of changes in primary control forms.

Changes in Strategic Control Processes

Feedforward Control

In the late 1980s, Samsung reinforced its officially widespread ecological appointing so as to examine framework screens for data in each business area by presenting a MIS framework for gathering and scattering data. Also, despite the fact that Samsung has designated some authoritative choice making to its sub-units, the headquarter is fortifying its grasp on critical decisions with the landing of another president accountable for the integrated structure (Lasserre & Schütte 1999).

Moreover, the group director who took office in 1987 after his father’s, the founder’s, demise, has strengthened his role in the office. It is presently made out of 200 first class administrators to manage the gathering organizations (Otley & Berry 1980). In 1988, Samsung included a three-year arranging framework to its current five-year framework to adapt to the quickly evolving environment. Since the late 80s, Samsung has prepared a yearly spending plan, yet embracing a complete re-budget following 6 months (Prahalad & Doz 1999).

Feedback Control

The feedback exercises are considered to be among of the important aspects for most firms. Samsung has been adding to an exceedingly formalized framework. Reporting is thorough, assessment is comprehensive, and the prize and discipline structure is brutal (Chen 2004). There are settled principles for execution assessment, and people are remunerated or rebuffed precisely as the standards require (Doz & Prahalad 1999). Up to this point, there has been a program conclusion of reward for poor execution. Samsung’s auxiliaries abroad are unequivocally controlled by the HQ, which requires subsequent reports (Amsden 2001). Typically, supplemental reports to the HQ are done around fifteen or sixteen times each month.

Albeit most reporting is done by phone or copy, Samsung has been presenting a universal E-mail system. Not at all like Samsung, GoldStar’s feedback procedure is neither all around developed nor very much actualized. The Lucky-GoldStar group is plainly understood for stable family inclusion in administration. This contribution makes it exceptionally hard to achieve the prize and discipline framework entirely. Furthermore, reporting structures are less continuous than those in Samsung, and GoldStar has no universal E-Mail system (Simons 1990).

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Socialization Process

Generally, Samsung Electronics relies on Samsung Group’s enrollment framework for enlisting its new administrators. Nonetheless, subsequent to the late 1990s, Samsung Electronics started to select few experts like R&D staff itself. Since Samsung Electronics’ own particular enlistment framework concentrates on the capabilities and abilities of newcomers while the Group’s enrollment framework concentrates on the dedication, demeanor and identity of the volunteers, this movement of enrollment arrangement is debilitating the socialization of newcomers (Graham 2003).

Samsung Electronics has a very developed training and educational framework. It is a professional organization that supports the idea that its members should be educated and well-informed to ensure they collectively work towards achieving the goals and objectives of the company (Chen 2004). Casual correspondence in Samsung is not reliable, since the HQ does not permit casual factions to create. The dedication of Samsung’s directors is the most noteworthy among the Korean gadgets organizations in view of its consistent prize framework and high wage level.

Throughout the previous couple of years, GoldStar has been enrolling about a portion of its supervisors through Lucky-GoldStar Group enlistment context, and the other half from its own framework (Chang 2003). GoldStar has been adding to a thorough instruction and preparing framework, and its vocation ways are more accurate than those in Samsung (Kwon, Dong-Kee & Chung-Sok 2004). It has created diverse professional ways for general supervisors, R&D staff, and shopfloor administrators. GoldStar sorted out a Human Resource Development Committee for each supervisor (Chang 2003). This board of trustees, which is made of the administrator himself, his immediate supervisor, and an official level director, considers and chooses the vocation way for the chief. Casual correspondence in GoldStar is dynamic, and numerous informal groups and tribes exist (Van Hoesel 1999).

Employing the Changes of Strategic Control Processes

As indicated above, both of the Korean electronics organizations under discussion have changed their control procedures to adapt to the hierarchical changes. In any case, while the expansive core and auxiliary changes were comparable, the control procedure changes are distinctive (Fields 1995). Samsung is reinforcing its strategic planning while lessening accentuation on its enrollment process as a control measure. Conversely, GoldStar is strengthening the central power of socialization, while decentralizing strategic planning. Considering the ceaseless reliable execution of Samsung among Korean hardware organizations, it can be proposed that Korean electronics firms with more grounded formal control procedure outperform Korean organizations with more grounded sidelong control or no efficient control design (Simons 1990).

The principal finding from this examination is that Samsung and GoldStar have rolled out similar improvements to their competitive strategies and structure because of the business environmental changes. It affirms the possibility that competitive business environment has a vital deciding impact on the success of any firm. Notwithstanding, it is clear that rolling out similar improvements to technique and structure does not as a matter of fact prompt a relative performance (Ungson, Steers & Park 1997). Samsung has enormously outperformed GoldStar in the most recent five years. The distinctions in performance occur most probably due to the difference in the control of vital processes. Over the past 5 years, Samsung has fortified an actually stable feed-forward control framework, while GoldStar responded by reinforcing its substantial socialization. It appears that neither one of these companies rolled out any radical improvements to its main style of critical control; rather they strengthened their current style.

This analysis proposes that the necessary control procedures are unequivocally affected by every organization’s authoritative legacy and initiative. While family proprietors assume a position in the administration of both organizations, their impact is somewhat distinctive (Mathews 2002). In Samsung, there is a convention of a solitary, real family pioneer upheld by expert directors who have goal-oriented objectives and who order the superior (Samsung Electronics Co. 2010). By complexity, GoldStar has relatives in a few influential positions; focal control by expert supervisors is weaker.

While two of the integrative components (centralization and formalization) are undoubtedly more grounded in Samsung than in GoldStar, the opposite is true for socialization. Additionally, both have robust integrative systems in comparison with other Western organizations, and both tend to treat their auxiliaries abroad in similar ways. Therefore, their supplemental examples are somewhat comparative. It is noteworthy that both companies have strived to achieve their goals and objectives through employing the best strategies, which has guaranteed their success in the multinational electronics industry (Miles, Snow, Meyer & Coleman 1978).

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