Innovation Japanese Style: A Cultural and Historical Perspective

Innovation Japanese Style: A Cultural and Historical Perspective

Innovation Japanese Style: A Cultural and Historical Perspective

Innovation Japanese Style: A Cultural and Historical Perspective

Synopsis

Japan has major problems to address if it wishes to remain an economic superstar in the 21st century. Can Japan continue to grow as an economic superpower now that it has caught up with the technological frontier by borrowing technology? Herbig explores the Japanese and American cultures, business practices, and government behavior in order to determine an optimum combination. After examining historical evidence of Japan's creativity, Herbig provides fresh insight into Japanese innovative strengths and weaknesses, and analyzes Japanese product development strategies and target costing. A comparison between U.S. and Japanese innovation processes shows how American thinking focuses excessively upon the earliest stages of the process. It also shows the advantages of imitation and application, as well as the risks involved in being a follower, even one as good as Japan. International managers and CEOs, business scholars and graduate students will find Herbig's insights into future scenarios for both Japan and America very valuable.

Excerpt

The unprecedented nineteenth-century explosion of Japanese industry, with its concomitant relatively quick technical change, is due in no small part to the many new social, cultural, and economic attitudes developed from the Meiji Restoration. the Charter of the Five Oaths, the emperor's proclamation in 1868, was a key to opening up the rest of the world to Japan. a country which had condemned to death anyone traveling abroad was now determined to encourage its people to seek knowledge all over the world and thus to strengthen the foundations of Imperial policy. Japan went from a sakoku (closed country) to a kaikoku (open country) at a breathtaking pace.

Japan has consistently been underrated by the West. Japanese success has been based primarily on social innovation. Japan, after the Meiji Restoration of 1867, reluctantly opened itself to the world to avoid the fates of India and China, that is, to preserve its independence. Its basic aim, in true Judo fashion, was to use the weapons of the West to hold the West at bay and to remain Japanese. Modernization was seen as a weapon to free Japan from potential Western domination. "Eastern morals, Western technology" has been Japan's slogan and guiding principle for the past century. the social institutions had to be quintessentially Japanese and yet modern. the institutions had to be run by Japanese and yet serve an economy that was to become Westernized and highly technical at a fast pace. Technology that could be imported at low cost and with a minimum of cultural risk was perfect for the Japanese plan of modernizing without de-Japanizing. the Japanese accepted Western technology but took . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.