Developing Knowledge Convergence through a Boundaries Vision—A Case Study of Fujifilm in Japan

Mitsuru Kodama, Tomoatsu Shibata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In recent years, there has been a growing need for strategies that provide for convergence in the development of products and services and building of business models that integrate different technologies and services and span different industries. The question is: What kind of strategies and organizations should a company construct for R&D activities to develop new products, services, and business models that will be realized through the integration of different technologies and convergence across industries? The key concept in a company's actions for adapting to (or creating) a worldview of such convergence lies in knowledge convergence through a boundaries vision, which this paper discusses. The paper presents a case study that analyzes in detail the R&D framework of Fujifilm as a company that achieved success in new business areas by realizing knowledge convergence through a boundaries vision. In the days of analogue photographs, Fujifilm stood alongside Kodak of the USA as a leading brand in the photo industry. Foreseeing the steady decline of the analogue business, however, it moved into other business sectors such as pharmaceuticals, health care, and cosmetics as a new departure that it refers to as the “second foundation” and, in so doing, achieved spectacular success. The main objective in its R&D strategy for the second foundation was to “create new value.” To do this, Fujifilm sets its sights on achieving what it described as “intellectual fusion” (by combining and integrating different fields and technologies) and “innovation” (by creating new, differentiated technologies) and, as a result, to contribute to society. We will now analyze the mechanism of knowledge convergence through boundaries vision in Fujifilm's R&D and new business strategy for supporting its second foundation, which was a key factor in its successful business transformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-292
Number of pages19
JournalKnowledge and Process Management
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Oct 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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