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Kodak and Fujifilm

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The History and Core Business of Each Company

Kodak, previously known as Eastman Kodak Company, was established in 1888 by George Eastman. The early prosperity of the company was grounded on the introduction of its innovative camera that made the process of taking photos easier than before. The main aim of Kodak was imaging and photography. Products of Kodak included photography tools for filming, paper, and color chemicals. The market segment of Kodak by the 1980’s hit an astonishing 90%. Despite the company developing the rudimentary technology for digital cameras, the project was not continued. This was because of the fear that it bore threats to the film business of the company in 1975 (Ungson & Wong, 2008).

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The top management of Kodak could not visualize a world that did not have the analogue of the film and, thus, they failed to recognize that digital cameras would be very popular. The technology soon began to spread and trades of films reduced significantly by the end of 1990. The slow change to digital filming, denial of the decreasing use of film, and other companies’ competition consequently resulted in the loss of the market by the Kodak Company. This happened in the United States and all over the world and thus placed Kodak in the seventh position. The company applied for the application of Chapter 11 on bankruptcy in 2012 and 2013 and the court accepted financing for Kodak. The company then traded most of its patents to companies such as Microsoft and Apple (Ungson & Wong, 2008).

Established in 1934, Fujifilm is a company situated in Japan. Focus of the Fujifilm Company was also on photographing and imaging and was originally formed based on a governmental plan. Fujifilm soon dominated the Japanese market in the use of films and it was ranked 2nd behind the United States. Ultimately, Fujifilm penetrated the global and the US markets with a strong move through the use of competitive and reduced prices. The company continued to grow as its technology was growing as well. Over the years, the company has been subdivided into consumer and commercial products worldwide. These comprised of printing, medicine, photography, and life science, while still holding a firm grip on the product line through which Kodak Company is well-known. The company boasts of being the biggest imaging and film company in the world. The turning point of the prosperity of the Fujifilm Company in this field was marked by the Los Angeles Olympics of 1984. This was when the company became the official film of the occasion (Ungson & Wong, 2008).

Approach to Management

Each of these companies’ approach to management and their embrace of innovation do not have a lot of similarities. Kodak has exhausted most of its products that it was formerly founded on, while Fujifilm has preserved its original products and stretched its goals outside its film development.

The focus of Kodak is presently more inclined to consider business clients in the areas of deposition, digital imaging sciences, and material science. Chapter 11 bankruptcy has decreased the cost of carrying out the business, but it has also reduced its employees. It closed the camera business for clients, traded most of its patents, and signed a settlement agreement with the United Kingdom pension plan, which was its biggest creditor. Its innovation has been downsized although it has helped Kodak to concentrate in a more defined field and also allowed it to easily keep up with advancing technological changes (Yami, Castaldo, Dagnino, & Roy, 2010).

Fujifilm has many resources that embrace technology despite it having eliminated motion picture film products. The company has ventured into, among others, biotechnology, touch screens for smartphones, skin care products, and lenses used in outer space exploration.

Other Management Differences

Despite making reductions and withdrawing from non-core business, Kodak is adjusting to the present market and focusing on business services and products. Kodak still has patent applications and more than 7,500 commercial imaging patents that enable it to come up with new partnerships and markets. Its key segment of the client base is represented by suppliers and sellers and it has good relations with the US government, universities, and small businesses.

Fujifilm has come up with a strategy to enhance growth and accelerate its worldwide expansion through focusing its management resources on document solutions, healthcare, and functional material. It has devised a plan to produce and market products that have been created to meet needs of upcoming markets and reduce costs through all ways possible.

Companies’ Approaches to Ethics and Social Responsibility

Kodak has a history of doing business in a way that is socially, environmentally, and ethically conscience. The company also takes part in the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) to help address working conditions of manufacturers and suppliers. The EICC deals with matters that concern safety of workers, ensuring that workers are respected and dignified. It also makes evaluation of manufacturers and suppliers’ processes to ensure that they are environmentally conscious. Kodak has a standard set for its suppliers and sellers that they have to adhere to before procurement approves them. Kodak only certifies those suppliers and vendors that meet the qualifications outlined in the company’s policies (Yami, Castaldo, Dagnino, & Roy, 2010).

Kodak, however, has put aside its social responsibility by stating that it has suspended all its corporate contributions and, thus, it no longer considers appeals for charitable support and sponsorship. This has reduced costs for the company, thus increasing its productivity. Nevertheless, the lack of social responsibility is received with a lot of contention form the society, i.e. its customers, thus reducing sales and the profits.

Fujifilm also carries out screening of suppliers and sellers and has outlined standards on transportation. It, however, regularly caries out market drift researches to observe the behavior of the market. In meeting its social responsibility, Fujifilm is known to be active in support of such areas as education, health, research, culture, environmental conservation, and arts. Efforts applied by Fujifilm in assisting in these research areas that have an impact on the society are a good strategy of increasing its profits (Yami, Castaldo, Dagnino, & Roy, 2010). This is because, for instance, through supporting research on culture and arts, it learns about current trends, thus coming up with products that are mostly in demand and increasing its sales and profits.

The Extent to which the Management of Both Companies Adapted to Changing Market Conditions

The business world experiences constant changes in the conditions of markets. This is majorly associated with consistently changing needs of customers. With such consistency in the change of needs by customers, companies are required to adapt and conduct their businesses in line with this change. This helps a company to achieve its objectives while ensuring satisfaction of its clientele.

In response to the changing conditions of the market, the Fujifilm Company has decided to expand its expertise, dedication, and capital to develop wide-ranging applications. These applications have tapped into prominent electronics and health care jobs and procedures. This move to expand its business has helped the management of Fujifilm to manage the company by transforming Fujifilm into a more comprehensive business at the time of digitization. This has been attained after implementation of various reorganizations. The company’s management has effectively employed new dealings and ventures in conjunction with its production in photography. It is because of this ability to overcome challenges of the changing market that Fujifilm has been able to produce positive fiscal reports on a regular basis. Fujifilm has achieved this through its effort in adapting to changes through diversification (Ungson & Wong, 2008).

The Kodak Company had initial success in matching the market. It was able to develop more innovative and easily applicable ways of developing film, printers, cameras, and even imaging equipment used in health facilities. The Kodak Company, however, faced a lot of setbacks in its quest to adapt to changing conditions of the market. In 2012, the company filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11. This was a result of the growing competition in the market and debts it had accrued. The running of the company into a bankruptcy process occurred also due to emergence and growth of the technology of digital photography (Ungson & Wong, 2008).
The Kodak Company, in the end, has failed to adapt to changing conditions of the market and has eliminated direct customer sales and shifted its concentration from the photography and film so as to stay in business. It did this by selling most of its lines of products and graphics. The company also sold some of its graphic prints that were patented. It still gets a part of profits from these patents. Fujifilm, on the contrary, has succeeded and continues to succeed in its adaptation to ever changing conditions of the market.

How a Company Should Be Flexible to Back Its Decision-Making Process in the Changing Market Conditions

A company should be able to undertake or undergo a succession of choices regarding ways in which that institution ought to react to perceived risks or opportunities. This will enable the company to meet changing market conditions since it is always bound to respond appropriately. A company may employ various strategies in its decision-making process in order to adapt to constantly evolving conditions of markets.

A company may use its decision-making process to adapt to market conditions through introduction of new ideas and new possibilities. These ideas and possibilities should be made open and clear to stakeholders of that company. Advantage of new ideas is that they have a tendency to sway people from stereotyping and conventionality in responses and action. This helps in avoidance of distractions resulting from improbability and vagueness that are natural to making of decisions. The most important in this aspect is that there should be openness to new ideas, roles, and sources. Stakeholders of a company should be provided the opportunity to contribute to a decision irrespective of their roles and job descriptions. This promotes flexibility in decision-making, thereby producing effective, innovative decisions that are crucial to the company’s adaptation (Brown, 2009).

A company should also employ ways that are not static in the process of decision-making. The company should be able to re-examine suppositions and suggestions that have led to a certain decision. These assumptions should be examined systematically in order to improve decisions made. This is particularly important in instances when some decisions are made with disregard of obvious gullibility to some views. The need for this re-examination is crucial to the processes of formulating decisions and implementing them. In so doing, the company can consider and make predictions regarding its decisions and how they fit changing conditions of the market. This, ultimately, improves and speeds up flexibility of the company (Daft & Marcic, 2012).

Companies should make sure they carry out background researches on existing market conditions before arriving at decisions. This is important in avoiding irrelevance and wastage of resources used in decision-making processes of the company. This way, the company can focus on relevant existing issues. This, in turn, helps the company adapt effectively to changing market conditions as the company already has some background situational information.

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