A Comprehensive Analysis of Eastman Kodak's Strategy and Its Failure

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About this sample


Words: 592 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Jan 25, 2024

Words: 592|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Jan 25, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Introduction
  3. Kodak’s Digital Imaging Strategy 1992-2012
  4. Why the Strategy Failed
  5. Better Alternatives to the Strategy
  6. Lessons from Eastman Kodak
  7. Reflection
  8. References

Executive Summary

This report was initiated to find out why Eastman Kodak was wiped out from the photography industry, evaluate Kodak’s digital imaging strategy and why it failed, provide better alternatives to the strategy and finally point out what other companies facing disruptive change in their core business can learn from the experiences of Kodak.

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Eastman Kodak is often hailed as a great example of a firm that failed to take advantage of the changing dynamics of technological transitions that would alter how a company produces and sells its products. Kodak was the global leader in film photography for several decades, and it even designed the first digital camera in 1975. However, the company's management did not fully grasp the significance of the new technology and the impact this could have on the industry in the future.

Kodak’s Digital Imaging Strategy 1992-2012

Kodak was among the companies that pioneered the digital revolution that took place during the 1990s. The company hired George Fisher as its CEO to help implement the company's digital imaging strategy. Fisher restated that the main objective of the company was not in the photographic industry but the picture business. The digital imaging strategy involved four main themes: application of an increasing approach and process to manage the company’s transition to digital imaging, use of various strategies for different markets, business outsourcing, and focus more on printed images by going back to reap the old benefits of their traditional photography business.

Why the Strategy Failed

There are several reasons why Kodak's strategy failed. First, the timing was critical, and Kodak failed to realize the importance of the disruptive nature and impact of digital technology in time. Second, Kodak's main business was film, and they did very little to prepare for the disruption that digital technology would have on the industry. Third, the strategies were not adaptable to changing market conditions. Lastly, Kodak faced stiff competition in a very diverse market.

Better Alternatives to the Strategy

Kodak could have rebranded the Ofoto Company into a different company instead of the Easyshare gallery, used the Easyshare platform as a life-networking firm, and focused on specific solutions for different markets. They should have invested in digital technology much earlier, especially after developing the first digital camera in 1975. A top-down and bottom-up approach of project management in its organizational structure could have led to effective project management and evaluation.

Lessons from Eastman Kodak

The main lesson companies can learn from the experience of Eastman Kodak is that they should be more pro-active in developing strategies that anticipate and easily adapt to change. The demands of the market form the basis of the products that a company can produce. A company facing disruptive change in its core business should not be afraid to fail and should be willing to take risks regarding changing their production process.

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Eastman Kodak was caught by the disruptive changes that affected the photography industry, leading to its demise. The main lesson from the case is that strategic management is crucial in any organization. When implementing change strategies in a company, the management should carry out effective market research and align the strategies with consumer needs in the market.


  1. Carlton, D.W., 2001. A General Analysis of Exclusionary Conduct and Refusal to Deal-Why Aspen and Kodak Are Misguided (No. w8105). National Bureau of Economic Research
  2. Curme, H. and Rand, R.N., 1997. Early history of Eastman Kodak Ektachem slides and instrumentation. Clinical Chemistry, 43(9), pp.1647-1652
  3. DiSalvo, D., 2011. The Fall of Kodak: A Tale of disruptive technology and bad business. Forbes Oct, 2.
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A Comprehensive Analysis of Eastman Kodak’s Strategy and Its Failure. (2024, January 24). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 14, 2024, from
“A Comprehensive Analysis of Eastman Kodak’s Strategy and Its Failure.” GradesFixer, 24 Jan. 2024,
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