Technological Pioneering and Competitive Advantage: The Birth of the VCR Industry

by Richard Rosenbloom, Michael Cusumano



This article examines a significant example of "technological pioneering"-the development of an emerging technology in pursuit of future commercial opportunity. In this case, the pioneer's efforts resulted in the birth of a major industry, the manufacture of videocassette recorders for the mass consumer market. The authors compare the actions of six firms that were pioneers in the development of this technology-two in the U.S. and four in Japan. Three firms-all Japanese-emerged in the late 1970s as the big winners in the growth of this new industry. However, this is not another case in which international differences in "competitiveness" were decisive. The real success story lies in the management practices of three pioneers, who just happened to be Japanese.

California Management Review

Berkeley-Haas's Premier Management Journal

Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

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