Case Study

Be Sharp! Sharp's innovation in the LCD industry

18 pages
June 2005
Reference: IMD-3-1554

Sharp, established in 1912, has always tried to identify unique niches that its competitors do not enter, while at the same time continuing to pursue innovation and knowledge creation in those niches. The liquid crystal display (LCD) business is a typical example of Sharp’s strategy and innovation. Sharp developed the first successful LCD product–a pocket calculator with a small black and white LCD in 1973–and since then the company has released a series of unique products with LCDs, including PDAs and camcorders. In 1998, in the face of increasing competition in the traditional cathode-ray tube (CRT) TV market, Katsuhiko Machida, the company’s new president, announced his vision of upgrading all bulky CRT televisions sold in the domestic market to flat screen LCD sets by 2005. This vision was bold, since Sharp was the first producer of color CRT TVs and its business was still profitable at the time. However, Machida predicted tough price competition in the CRT business in the future and began to mobilize Sharp’s employees to gain and sustain competitive advantage in the new market.

Competitive Strategy, Knowledge Management, Consumer Electronics
1998 - 2004
Field Research
© 2005
Available Languages
Case clearing houses
IMD case studies are distributed through case clearing houses. In order to browse the collection and purchase copies please visit the links below.

The Case Centre

Cranfield University

Wharley End Beds MK43 0JR, UK
Tel +44 (0)1234 750903
Email [email protected]

Harvard Business School Publishing

60 Harvard Way, Boston MA 02163, USA
Tel (800) 545-7685 Tel (617)-783-7600
Fax (617) 783-7666
Email [email protected]

Asia Pacific Case Center

NUCB Business School

1-3-1 Nishiki Naka
Nagoya Aichi, Japan 460-0003
Tel +81 52 20 38 111
Email [email protected]


Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications

Discover our latest research
IMD's faculty and research teams publish articles, case studies, books and reports on a wide range of topics