The POSCO Way of Field Based Innovation
POSCO is one of the largest and best steelmakers in the world. Since the construction of Pohang Steelworks in 1973, Pohang Iron and Steel Company ("POSCO") has grown continuously in the world's steel industry. But in the late 1990s, when the Asian financial crisis hit the Korean economy hard, the company began paying great attention to innovation as an important source of competitive advantage. Since then, POSCO has made every effort to promote an innovation-friendly environment: in 1999, it embarked on process innovation to build its innovation hardware, and in 2002, it adopted Six Sigma, an infrastructure for innovation, and finalised its manufacturing execution system ("MES") for effective decision-making. Even though the hardware and infrastructure for innovation were in place, the company needed to internalise the innovation in order to maximise corporate performance effectively. In 2008, the global recession and turbulent economic situation spread from America and dealt a serious blow to the company's innovation initiatives. Meanwhile, employees were exhibiting fatigue with the protracted innovation drive. POSCO's chief executive, Chung Joon-yang, is considering what the POSCO way of innovation has achieved since its takeoff in earnest in 2006. He must now make a hard decision on what additional measures the company must take to overcome the looming crisis.