Sony has a matrix organizational structure primarily based on function-based groups and product/business divisions. The structure also incorporates geographical divisions. In 2021, Sony announced the overhauling of its organizational structure, changing its name from Sony Corporation to Sony Group Corporation to better identify itself as the headquarters of the Sony group of companies skewing the company toward product divisions.
|Department||Type of Structure||Structure Details||Advantages||Drawbacks|
|Corporate Leadership||Hierarchy||Sony’s corporate leadership operates within a hierarchical structure. It typically includes the CEO, senior executives, and various departments such as electronics, gaming, entertainment, and finance.||– Clear lines of authority and accountability. – Efficient decision-making process. – Well-defined roles and responsibilities.||Potential slow decision-making due to multiple levels of approval. Limited flexibility in responding to rapid changes in the electronics and entertainment industry.|
|Electronics Division||Divisional Structure||Sony’s electronics division operates with a divisional structure, where each division is responsible for specific product categories such as televisions, audio equipment, and cameras. Each division may have its own leadership team.||– Specialization in the development and marketing of electronic products. – Quick adaptation to market demands within product categories. – Tailored approach to different product lines.||Coordination challenges between divisions. May result in variations in product strategies and branding across divisions.|
|Gaming Division||Divisional Structure||Sony’s gaming division, including PlayStation, follows a divisional structure. Different regions and product lines within gaming may have their own leadership teams responsible for gaming console development, game studios, and online services.||– Customized strategies for different gaming regions and platforms. – Specialization in the gaming industry. – Quick adaptation to gaming market trends.||Coordination challenges between regional gaming divisions. May lead to variations in game release strategies and marketing approaches.|
|Entertainment Division||Divisional Structure||Sony’s entertainment division, which includes Sony Pictures and Sony Music, also operates with a divisional structure. Different divisions focus on various aspects of entertainment, such as film production, music recording, and distribution.||– Specialization in different entertainment sectors. – Quick adaptation to the needs of the entertainment industry. – Customized approaches for different entertainment segments.||Coordination challenges between divisions. May result in variations in content production and distribution strategies across divisions.|
|Research and Development||Functional Structure||Sony’s research and development activities follow a functional structure, with specialized teams working on electronics, gaming technology, imaging, and other technology areas. Research teams aim to innovate and develop new products and technologies.||– Specialized expertise in various technology domains. – Efficient management of R&D activities.||Potential challenges in aligning R&D efforts with the broader business strategy.|
|Human Resources||Functional Structure||The Human Resources function at Sony operates with a functional structure, focusing on HR-related functions such as talent acquisition, training, and employee relations. HR teams handle HR matters across the organization.||– Efficient management of human resources and talent-related activities. – Specialized expertise in HR functions.||Potential challenges in cross-functional collaboration with business units. May not align with specific business divisions.|
Understanding Sony’s organizational structure
Sony, formally known as Sony Group Corporation, is a Japanese multinational conglomerate headquartered in Tokyo.
The company has interests in several consumer and professional electronics markets, such as video games, digital cameras, televisions, audio equipment, music production, digital storage, and healthcare biotechnology.
At the peak of its powers, Sony was dubbed the “corporate octopus” for its sprawling and diverse number of ventures across many unrelated industries. With that said, the rest of this article will explain how the company structures these various pursuits.
What is Sony’s organizational structure?
Sony has a matrix organizational structure primarily based on function-based groups and product/business divisions. The structure also incorporates some geographical divisions.
To support function-based efficiency and effectiveness, Sony is driven by the following functional groups:
- Research & Development.
- Legal, Compliance, Corporate Communications, CSR, External Relations, Information Security & Privacy.
- New Business (Strategy).
- Human Resources & General Affairs.
- Sales & Marketing.
As of October 2021, Sony has the following product/business divisions:
- Game & Network Services – Sony Interactive Entertainment.
- Music – Sony Music Group (Global), Sony Music Entertainment Japan.
- Pictures – Sony Pictures Entertainment.
- Electronics Products & Solutions – Sony Corporation.
- Imaging & Sensing Solutions – Sony Semiconductor Solutions.
- Financial Services – Sony Financial Group.
In most cases, each division contains a few holding companies that themselves contain related businesses. For example, Columbia Records is part of the Sony Music Group.
Each division is also headed by what Sony calls an “officer in charge”.
Geographic divisions are most relevant in terms of finance, planning, and strategy. These include:
- United States.
- Other Areas.
Revisions to Sony’s organizational structure
In April 2021, Sony announced that it would be overhauling its organizational structure.
As part of the overhaul, the company changed its name from Sony Corporation to Sony Group Corporation to better identify itself as the headquarters of the Sony group of companies. Coinciding with this move was the renaming of Sony Electronics Corporation to Sony Corporation – a product-based division we mentioned earlier.
Sony also announced that it would be changing the executive structure of each of the businesses contained in its six product-based divisions. For example, all businesses under the Imaging & Sensing Solutions division would establish their own executive structures. The executive teams were comprised of existing functional group leaders, with each team handed some degree of authority to promote more efficient decision-making within the company.
- Sony has a matrix organizational structure primarily based on function-based groups and product/business divisions. The structure also incorporates geographical divisions.
- Function-based groups include CEO, Research & Development, Finance, Engineering, and Human Resources & General Affairs. Sony also operates six key product-based divisions: Game & Network Services, Music, Pictures, Electronics Products & Solutions, Imaging & Sensing Solutions, and Financial Services.
- Sony also has six geographic divisions and made some changes to its organizational structure in 2021. Chief among these was the renaming of some business units and the establishment of executive teams for each holding company.
- Matrix Structure: Sony employs a matrix organizational structure that combines function-based groups, product/business divisions, and geographical divisions.
- Function-Based Groups: Sony’s functional groups include areas such as Research & Development, Finance, Legal, Compliance, CEO, Engineering, New Business (Strategy), Human Resources & General Affairs, and Sales & Marketing.
- Product/Business Divisions: Sony’s major product/business divisions include Game & Network Services (Sony Interactive Entertainment), Music (Sony Music Group), Pictures (Sony Pictures Entertainment), Electronics Products & Solutions (Sony Corporation), Imaging & Sensing Solutions (Sony Semiconductor Solutions), and Financial Services (Sony Financial Group).
- Geographic Divisions: Geographic divisions play a role in finance, planning, and strategy, and include regions like Asia-Pacific, Europe, China, United States, Japan, and Other Areas.
- Organizational Overhaul (2021): In 2021, Sony made significant changes to its organizational structure:
- Renamed from Sony Corporation to Sony Group Corporation to better represent its position as the headquarters of the Sony group of companies.
- Renamed Sony Electronics Corporation to Sony Corporation.
- Established separate executive structures for businesses within its product-based divisions.
- Functional group leaders formed executive teams with decision-making authority to enhance efficiency.
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