IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Unveiling the Successful Process of Technological Transition : A Case Study of Matsushita Electric


  • Tomoatsu Shibata


Changing technological strategies requires serious management decisions because it essentially means withdrawing from an existing technology, in which the company has been successful, and shifting management resources to a new technology with a high degree of uncertainty. Most of existing research has focused on examples of failure, to shed light on the causes of failure. However, we will analyze in detail an example of a successful transition to a new technology. The subject of our analysis is the transition in technological strategies made by Matsushita Electric Group (MEG), a large corporate group representative of Japanese companies, at the time of its commercialization of plasma TVs. The purpose of this paper is to analyze in detail this transition process and to discover findings and insights for successful transition process from accumulated technology to new technology. Our analysis yields key conceptual contributions about technological transition from old to new technology as follows. Old and new technology can differ in their knowledge base. According to existing literature, when the knowledge base is radically different, incumbent firms have a difficulty adapting to the technological change. On the other hand, when the knowledge base is very similar, incumbent firms have no trouble adapting to the change. Beyond these established existing understandings, this paper argues that when the knowledge base is moderately different, managers can increase the likelihood of successful transition by implementing a set of organizational strategies. Among these strategies, a particularly insightful one is that through the parallel development process of both existing and new technologies, managers can eventually integrate the advantages of both technologies by implementing a flexible resource allocation mechanism to overcome the dichotomy between old and new.

Suggested Citation

  • Tomoatsu Shibata, 2011. "Unveiling the Successful Process of Technological Transition : A Case Study of Matsushita Electric," TMARG Discussion Papers 104, Graduate School of Economics and Management, Tohoku University.
  • Handle: RePEc:toh:tmarga:104

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Miller, Roger, et al, 1995. "Innovation in Complex Systems Industries: The Case of Flight Simulation," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 363-400.
    2. Ghemawat, Pankaj & Ricart, Joan E., 1993. "Organizational tension between static and dynamic efficiency, The," IESE Research Papers D/255, IESE Business School.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:toh:tmarga:104. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Tohoku University Library). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.