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The making of a music multinational: Polygram's international businesses, 1945-1998

By Gerben Bakker


In half a century PolyGram expanded from two small Dutch and German companies to become the world's largest music multinational. It did so in the midst of a fast-changing business environment, in which relatively homogenous products and tastes gave way to differentiated outputs for segmented markets. Making use of strengths inherited from its owners Philips and Siemens, PolyGram integrated a continuous series of foreign acquisitions into one international organization while maintaining the creative identities and independence of the firms it acquired. To control and manage the resulting idiosyncratic configuration, it developed the federated form, a decentralized organizational structure that fit the shifting environment. PolyGram became what can be defined as a rightsbased multinational, and its structure showed similarities to multinationals in other rights-based industries

Topics: HC Economic History and Conditions, HD Industries. Land use. Labor, M Music
Publisher: Cambridge University Press on behalf of Harvard Business School
Year: 2006
DOI identifier: 10.1017/S0007680500080995
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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