Recovering from Success: Innovation and Technology Management in Japan

ISBN : 9780199297320

Robert E. Cole; D.Hugh Whittaker
352 Pages
156 x 233 mm
Pub date
Aug 2006
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How did Japan fall from challenger to US hegemonic leadership in the high tech industries in the 1980s, to stumbling giant by the turn of the century? What is it doing about it? This book examines the challenges faced by Japan's high tech companies through successful emulation of some of their key practices by foreign competitors and the emergence of new competitive models linked to open innovation and modular production. High tech companies were slow to respond, relying at first on formulae which had worked in the past, but in a new environment, some of these traditional strengths had now become sources of weakness. Stability and success, moreover, had decreased their appetite for risk. Early in the new century, however, there were signs of a more concerted response, which opened up past practices to scrutiny, and modification through selective learning and adaptation of the new models. The 'MOT' (management of technology) movement provided a vehicle for this change. It was linked, in turn, to efforts to change the national innovation system, giving universities a more central role, and encouraging spin-offs and startups. The book features contributions from Japanese and Western scholars and practitioners who have distinctive insights into the nature of these challenges and responses, with substantial introductory and concluding chapters. The result is a highly accessible account of innovation, technology, and change management in the world's second largest economy.


1. Introduction
2. The Telecommunication Industry: A Turnaround in Japan's Global Presence
3. Modular Production's Impact on Japan's Electronics Industry
4. Technology Management and Competitiveness of the Japanese Semiconductor Industry
5. Global Value Chains in the Pharmaceutical Industry
6. Software's Hidden Challenges
7. The Open Innovation Model: Implications for Innovation in Japan
8. Managing Creativity and Control of Knowledge Workers
9. Rethinking Innovation
10. Realizing Creative Innovation Through R&D in Japan
11. Hitachi's Nascent 'New Production(ist)' System
12. Interfirm Networks and the Management of Technology and Innovation in Japan
13. Innovation Policy for Japan as a Front Runner
14. Security and Techno-Systems: A Comparative Analysis
15. Human Resources and Technology Management in Japanese Corporations
16. Electronic Government in Japan: Towards Harmony Between Technology Solutions and Administrative Systems
17. Conclusion

About the author: 

Robert E. Cole served as Co-Director of the Management of Technology Program at the Haas School of Business from 1997-2006. He is a long term student of Japanese work organization, the auto industry and the Japanese quality movement and has published widely on these topics over the last 35 years. Most recently, he has been working in the hitech arena. Prior to moving to UC Berkeley in 1991, he was Professor of Sociology and Business Administration at the University of Michigan for 24 years. ; D. Hugh Whittaker gained his Ph.D from Imperial College, London, and taught at Cambridge University for twelve years before moving to Doshisha University in 2002 as a founding faculty member of Doshisha Business School. He helped to establish and is currently director of the Institute for Technology, Enterprise and Competitiveness (ITEC) at Doshisha University, designated a Centre of Excellence by Japan's Ministry of Education in 2003. He is author of numerous books and articles on Japanese and comparative industry and management, including Small Firms in the Japanese Economy (Cambridge University Press, 1997), and with T. Inagami, The New Community Firm: Employment, Governance and Management Reform in Japan (Cambridge University Press, 2005).

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