Sony Corporation’s Aibo: An Intelligent Decision? (Simplified Chinese Version)
(10 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
In November 2017, the chief executive officer of Sony Corporation was preparing to announce the company’s release of its rebooted robo-pup, the Aibo—a robot equipped with sensors and actuator technologies, and powered by artificial intelligence that allowed this virtual pet to behave like a real dog. Sony Corporation, the 70-year-old iconic Japanese manufacturing company, had diverse businesses. After significant restructuring since 1999 to address its financial troubles, the company was expected, in March 2018, to post a record operating profit for the first time in two decades. How did a virtual pet business, especially one that had already proved unviable in the past, fit into such a restructuring exercise? Was Sony Corporation's Aibo an intelligent decision?
This case is suitable for a general management or strategy course at the graduate or post-graduate level. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to
- understand diversification as a corporate strategy;
- distinguish between competitive strategy and corporate strategy for a diversifying company;
- analyze the conditions for diversification; and
- evaluate a corporate strategy of diversification.
Japan, Large, 2017
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