Sony’s Organizational Culture & Its Characteristics (An Analysis)

Sony organizational culture, HRM work culture, corporate business cultural traits, electronics gaming company analysis case study
A Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-S2000. Sony’s organizational culture (corporate culture) focuses on customer satisfaction in the electronics, gaming, entertainment, and financial services business. (Photo: Public Domain)

Sony’s organizational culture puts customer satisfaction at the core. A firm’s corporate culture determines the habits, values, and traditions inculcated in human resources. Sony’s organizational culture affects corporate employees, as well as employees in the company’s subsidiaries in the consumer electronics, gaming, entertainment, and financial services industries. Thus, the company’s cultural characteristics are significant in establishing a unified organization toward influencing the direction of human resource development and performance. Through its organizational culture, Sony maximizes its workers’ effectiveness in satisfying customers’ preferences and expectations. This customer-focused work culture supports Sony’s marketing mix (4P) and the overall effectiveness of the company’s marketing strategy.

In applying its organizational culture, Sony trains and motivates its human resources to aim for customer satisfaction. Sony’s success is partly due to the effectiveness of the characteristics of this corporate culture in connecting the company with its target customers. Thus, the company culture contributes to the strengths of the business, as shown in the SWOT analysis of Sony.

Features of Sony’s Organizational Culture

Sony states that its organizational culture is synonymous with customer satisfaction, as highlighted in its Customer Satisfaction Campaign known as CS21. This emphasis on customer satisfaction shows the company’s efforts in understanding and addressing what customers need or want. Considering three factors (customer’s viewpoint, voice of customer, and customer’s expectation), the following characteristics are the pillars of Sony’s organizational culture:

  1. Reliability (customer’s viewpoint & customer’s expectation)
  2. Credibility (customer’s viewpoint & voice of customer)
  3. Cordiality (voice of customer & customer’s expectation)

Reliability. The reliability of employees is a cultural characteristic that enables Sony to consider customers’ viewpoints and address customers’ expectations. This feature of the organizational culture increases customer satisfaction by encouraging workers to develop knowledge, skills, and abilities for addressing customers’ needs and inquiries about the company’s products. For example, Sony’s product design and development processes for the PlayStation are based on customers’ perspectives and expectations in gaming. In this way, the corporate culture helps match the company’s output to market demand. The value of reliability in the company culture also influences the emphasis on reliability in Sony’s operations management.

Credibility. This feature of Sony’s organizational culture is based on knowledge and skills necessary to satisfy customers. Customers’ viewpoint and voice are factors that compel the company to ensure credibility in its human resources. For example, based on customers’ perspectives and feedback, Sony develops training programs to improve standards and procedures. HR training and development programs reinforce the corporate culture through a credible workforce.

Cordiality. Cordiality meets concerns at the intersection of two factors: the voice of customers and customers’ expectations. This characteristic of Sony’s organizational culture facilitates warm and friendly relations between employees and customers. Higher customer satisfaction is a result of this cultural trait. For example, personnel’s cordiality makes customers feel welcome at Sony Stores, thereby increasing customer satisfaction and the probability of sales. This trait of the business culture reflects the social trends shown in the PESTLE/PESTEL analysis of Sony and ensures workplaces that relate to the target market. Thus, the company’s corporate culture is a way to retain customers in the consumer electronics, gaming, entertainment, and financial services markets.

Sony’s Organizational Culture: Advantages & Disadvantages

An advantage of Sony’s organizational culture is that its emphasis on customer satisfaction leads to higher customer retention. Satisfied customers are more likely to purchase from the company again. Another advantage is that the organizational culture has a positive impact on Sony’s employees. For example, the characteristics (reliability, credibility, and cordiality) are exercised not just toward customers, but also between employees. This cultural condition improves employee morale and organizational effectiveness.

Sony’s organizational culture has the disadvantage of having a limited focus on innovation. Even though the company is innovative and its cultural traits focus on what customers want, there is a lack of institutionalized support for innovation within the corporate culture. In this regard, Sony can adjust its work culture to add focus on innovative behavior among employees. For example, the company can motivate employees to develop innovative ideas to satisfy customers’ specific demands. In this way, the organizational culture facilitates product development to support Sony’s generic competitive strategy and intensive growth strategies. The addition of innovation as a cultural characteristic also helps fulfill the technological goals linked to Sony’s mission statement and vision statement.


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