Samsung Electronics: Success by Design

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR228
Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 1993-2006
Organization : Samsung
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : Worldwide
Themes: Differentiation Strategies | Innovation
Industry : Consumer Electronics

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Introduction Contd...

However, as of 2006, several small and big companies were following in Samsung's footsteps, and hiring design houses and consultancies to improve their product designs. It seemed that in the future, design itself was in danger of being commoditized.

Background Note

The Samsung Group was founded by Byung-Chull Lee (Byung) in 1938, in Taegu, Korea, as an exporter of dried fish, vegetables, and fruits. Byung later established flour mills under the Samsung name (Korean for three stars). He also produced confectionery machines in this period (Refer Exhibit I for the companies under the Samsung Group as of 2006). In 1951, Samsung Moolsan, a holding company, was established, which later became Samsung Corp. In 1953, Cheil Sugar Manufacturing Co. was set up, which later became an independent company. In 1958, Samsung acquired Ankuk Fire and Marine Insurance (later renamed Samsung Fire and Marine Insurance) and DongBang Life Insurance in 1963 (later renamed Samsung Life Insurance).

In 1966, the Group founded Joong-Ang Development, an entertainment (theme parks) and services company, which was later renamed Samsung Everland.

In 1969, Samsung Electronics Manufacturing Co. (SEMC) was incorporated. In the 1970s, the Samsung Group forayed into the shipbuilding, chemical, and petrochemical industries. In 1974, the Group8 acquired a 50% stake in Korea Semiconductor Co., a joint venture between Korea Engineering & Manufacturing Co. and Integrated Circuit International. SEMC started exporting its products in the 1970s. In 1978, the Group's electronics exports crossed the 100 billion won mark.

In February 1984, SEMC was renamed as Samsung Electronics. In the mid-1980s, the Samsung Group began to concentrate on R&D activities.

Excerpts >>

Business Strategy Case Studies | Case Study in Business, Management, Operations, Strategies, Case Studies

8] Unlike most other industrial conglomerates, the Samsung Group does not have a holding company and is more like a web of companies, subsidiaries, and affiliates, where each entity owns shares in other companies in the Group. In 2006, the Korean Fair Trade Commission, Korea's top trade regulator, criticized Samsung for its corporate structure and asked it to create a holding company.


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