Annals of Business Administrative Science


Vol. 16, No. 2, April

C to C Interaction Management: Cases of Harley-Davidson Japan Dealers
IntroductionA large motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson has gained a favorable image through product design, product customizability, and product appearances in many movies, with a history and narrative extending over 100 years, strong customer appeal...
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Knowledge Network of Toyota: Creation, Diffusion, and Standardization of Knowledge
IntroductionMany studies have emphasized the idea that knowledge of a firm is a source of competitive advantage (Chini, 2004; Grant, 1996; Kogut & Zander, 1992). To acquire knowledge that can become a source of competitiveness, there is a method...
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Vol. 16, No. 1, 2017

Host-Country National Expatriates
IntroductionThe role of expatriate managers in managing the local subsidiaries of multinational corporations is said to be important for the performance of the company (Black, Morrison, & Gregersen, 1999; Delios & Björkman, 2000). In addition,...
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Five Steps in Sales and Its Skills: The Importance of Preparing before an Interview with Customers
Introduction: Importance of SalesIn recent years, sales activities in companies have become increasingly important. When salespeople meet customers, they are able to gather various types of information. Therefore, if sales activities can be improved,...
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Impact of "Product Scope" and "Customer Scope": Suppliers' Diversification Strategy and Performance
IntroductionImmense research regarding studies of diversification as one of the most important approaches to corporate growth strategy (e.g., Oki, 2013; Palich, Cardinal, & Miller, 2000) has been conducted. Most such studies, however, tend to focus...
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What Kind of Companies Are Withdrawing?: The Case of the Japanese Online Securities Industry
IntroductionStarting in the latter half of the 1990s, the spread of the internet provided significant opportunities to various businesses around the world. Among these, financial businesses had a high level of user-friendliness because of their also...
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Vol. 16, No. 3, 2017

How Can a Company Continue an Unprofitable Business?: Case Study of a Japanese Functional Chemical Company
IntroductionDevelopment of new products and businesses is a time-consuming process (Afuah, 2003; Crawford & Di Benedetto, 2014; Ulrich & Eppinger, 2003). For example, Toray Industries, Inc.'s carbon fiber business took 10 years from the start...
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Analyzing the Phenomenon of a “Shake-Out”
Introduction: Meaning of Shake-OutIn newly formed industries, most companies are forced to exit within a short period of time in what is called a "shake-out." This is a well-known phenomenon that has been discussed from time to time (e.g., Faflick, Johnson,...
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Market Orientation and Kaizen Readiness in the Automobile Dealership Context
IntroductionWith the accumulation of research on market orientation since the 1990s (Kohli & Jaworski, 1990; Narver & Slater, 1990), a consensus seems to be emerging regarding the impact of market orientation. Briefly put, it has been indicated...
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Vol. 16, No. 4, 2017

New Product Introductions and Activation of Shop Floor Organizational Communication
IntroductionThis research suggests that in Japanese factories, factory managers' actions and policies of proposing and adding new products activate the shop floor organization, in particular its communication.As a general trend since the 1990s, Japanese...
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Vol. 15, No. 1, February

Generalization Is Everything, or Is It?: Effectiveness of Case Study Research for Theory Construction
1. IntroductionCase studies are a critical and even attractive research methodology 1 (Bartunek, Rynes & Ireland, 2006; Eisenhardt & Graebner, 2007; Sato, 2009). 2 However, there are sometimes questions about whether the case study method is...
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Structural Equivalence and Cohesion Can Explain Bandwagon and Snob Effect
I IntroductionThis paper employs social network analysis to identify the type of impact on consumers within a network (as opposed to independent consumers) when exerting purchasing behavior.Traditional theories of consumer behavior focused on relatively...
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Strategy and Structure Follow Technology: A Spinout Proposition of J. D. Thompson's Organizations in Action
IntroductionThompson (1967) has taken much interest in his unique concepts, such as the technical core (Shimizu, 2010). However, his book's overall assertions are difficult to understand, and not much focus has been placed on them. The book comprises...
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The History of a Mother Factory
IntroductionThe term "mother factory" 1 is widely used in the Japanese industry. Every year, an increasing number of articles referencing "mother factories" appear in the Japanese mass media. Moreover, academic research, particularly in the international...
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Vol. 15, No. 2, 2016

Making Gatekeepers in Supplier Systems: A Case for Offering Customer Solutions
1. IntroductionCustomers sometimes ask suppliers for customized components. In these cases, suppliers can choose one of two options: adopt the strategy of accepting the request and responding to the customer, or take a standardization strategy (Takashima,...
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Reconsideration of Characteristics of Information-Based Resource
IntroductionPenrose's (1959) view of a corporation as a pool of resources has since been developed into Wernerfelt's (1984) resource-based view (RBV) of firms. Similarly, in Japanese business management research around the time of formulation of RBV...
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The Relationship between Content Creation and Monetization by Consumers: Amateur Manga (Doujinshi) and Music in Japan8307
1. IntroductionJapanese content is globally considered "cool" or "in trend" and a component of Japan's advancement in the content industry. The industry is assumed, particularly in overseas markets, to have substantial growth potential (Ministry of Economy,...
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Multinational Enterprise-Driven Industrial Agglomerations: Business Practices in China's Dalian Software Industry
1. IntroductionSilicon Valley has been well researched as a representative example of an industrial agglomeration in a high-tech industry (Matsubara, 2006; Rugman & Verbeke, 2003; Saxenian, 1994, 2007; Zhang & Kawabata, 2012). Conventional wisdom...
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Vol. 15, No. 3, 2016

The Role of Weak Ties in Diversification Strategy
1. IntroductionThis study is an analysis of the process of successful diversification from the perspective of "weak ties" (Granovetter, 1973).Despite increasing pessimism about the competitiveness of the Japanese machinery industry, which has played...
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Pure Dynamic Capabilities to Accomplish Economies of Growth
IntroductionA quarter of a century has passed since the publication of a working paper by Teece, Pisano, and Shuen (1997) on the theory of dynamic capabilities, which led to a string of subsequent research.1 However, their argument was extremely confusing,...
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Drug Discovery Process: A Case Study on Takeda
IntroductionPharmaceutical research and development of drugs is well-known for its high uncertainty (Kuwashima, 2006; Pisano, 2006a, 2006b). The theoretical total of chemical compounds that may become potential new drugs is estimated to be 1060 (Okuno,...
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Characteristics of Dual Product Users: The Case of Mobile Phone Market
1. IntroductionThe diffusion of smartphones in Japan began in earnest with the launch of the iPhone. However, this diffusion led to the focus on certain types of users. These users are called "dual product users" (DPUs) because they own simultaneously...
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Vol. 15, No. 5, 2016

Spurious Correlation between Work Environment and Job Satisfaction: An Office Move Case
IntroductionInterest in the office environment from the management perspective has increased in recent years (Davis, Leach, & Clegg, 2011; Elsbach & Bechky, 2007; Elsbach & Pratt, 2007). For example, there has been a shift in focus to improve...
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Leveraging Torihiki-Jisseki through Japanese Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises' Overseas Businesses
IntroductionThis study discusses corporate domestic growth after an expansion in overseas production. In response to discussions about the hollowing out of industries, that is, domestic production decreases because of an expansion in overseas production...
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Language Strategy: Beyond Englishization
IntroductionAn organization without a set language for communication is inconceivable. Employees in an organization use languages to express and exchange opinions, hold discussions, solve problems, learn and grow, make decisions, and maintain records....
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Benefitting from Contributions to the Android Open Source Community
IntroductionMany firms today innovate by exploiting external technologies, such as open source software (Altman, Nagle, & Tushman, 2014; Baldwin & von Hippel, 2011; Lakhani, Lifshitz-Assaf, & Tushman, 2013). For example, today's smartphone...
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Vol. 15, No. 6, 2016

Adverse User Innovation: The Case of a Semiconductor Equipment Manufacturer
IntroductionVon Hippel (1988) coined the term "user innovation" by arguing that semiconductor device makers (equipment users) played a critical role as innovators in the development of semiconductor process equipments rather than process equipment manufacturers.However,...
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The Survival of Market Orientation through Artificial Selection
IntroductionMarket orientation has been conceptualized as an organizational culture and a resulting behavior for creating superior value for customers (Kohli & Jaworski, 1990; Narver & Slater, 1990). Throughout the years of research, it has been...
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Mother Factory vs. Model Factory: Comparative Study of International Knowledge Transfer
IntroductionThe mother factory system is considered to be an organizational capability for transferring Japan's superior production systems overseas (Yamaguchi, 2006). Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) is one good example of this system although recently...
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Vol. 15, No. 4, 2016

Hyundai Steel's Ramp-Up Strategy and the Learning Effect
IntroductionOnce a company begins its development process, putting products into the market as quickly as possible to get a return on investment is the fundamental corporate activity. Leveraging operational knowhow and reducing costs are critical for...
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Social Shaping of Technological Trajectories of Shinkansen
IntroductionThe Shinkansen, or bullet train, is a world-class Japanese innovation. The Tokaido Shinkansen began operating in 1964 and generated speeds exceeding 200 kmph, which were unheard of at that time for electric trains. This made it a global breakthrough....
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Factors Influencing the S-Curve: Analyzing the Float Process Technology of the Glass Industry
IntroductionThe S-curve is prone to an oversimplified understanding that it represents the physical limitations of technology. Henderson (1995) suggested that the S-curve does not naturally rise to the level of physical limitations of technology, but...
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Vol. 14, No. 5, 2015

Japanese Work Ethic and Culture: A New Paradigm of Intrinsic Motivation
IntroductionAccording to Takahashi (2004), the essence of the Japanese-style personnel system is that (i) it is not a system that rewards work with pay, but instead rewards work with new work. The content of one's expected new work in itself functions...
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Organizational Routine and Coordinated Imitation
IntroductionThe concept of organizational routine has been used in the management science domain to explain the source of actions of firms and organizations (Becker, 2004; Feldman, 2000; Feldman & Pentland, 2003, etc.). Although the origin of the...
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Criticisms on "The Innovator's Dilemma" Being in a Dilemma
1. IntroductionChristensen published The Innovator's Dilemma 1 (Christensen, 1997) in 1997 as a compendium of his previous study (Bower & Christensen, 1995; Christensen, 1992a, 1992b, 1992c, 1993; Christensen & Bower, 1996; Christensen &...
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Deculturation: A Secret of Birth
1. Introduction: Berry Model and Its ProblemsCurrently, many attempts have been made to apply the Berry model as a model of acculturation 1 used to explain various phenomena. The Berry model is a bidimensional model of acculturation proposed by John...
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Vol. 14, No. 4, 2015

Conceptual Expansion into Organizational Identity Change
IntroductionOrganizational identity is a self-awareness in the face of the question "who are we?" Albert and Whetten (1985) published a study that incorporated the concept of organizational identity into the field of business management, and showed that...
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How Psychological Resistance of Headquarter Engineers Interferes Product Development Task Transfer to Overseas Units
Abstract: There are very few existing studies that focus on the internal headquarter organization in relation to knowledge transfer or innovation in overseas units. It is almost as if there is an implicit assumption that headquarter members ought to...
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The Dynamics of the Komatsu Way
1. IntroductionThe "way" of a company is a reflection of the company's basic philosophy and values with regard to corporate activities (Sumihara, Mitsui, & Watanabe, 2008). Many companies have a way of some form that they use to improve quality,...
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Competitiveness of Japanese Electric and Electronics Factories
Abstract: This study employs data collected from a questionnaire survey of 97 business operations (factories) in Japan's electric and electronics industry to measure gemba-level and market-level competitiveness based on the framework of Fujimoto (2003)....
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Vol. 14, No. 3, 2015

An Essential Service in Penrose's Economies of Growth
1. IntroductionEdith T. Penrose's (1914-1996) The Theory of the Growth of the Firm (Penrose, 1959, 1980, 1995, 2009) is an economics classic. This book went on to become a foundation in the field of strategic management, when the resource-based view...
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Measuring Market Orientation in the Context of Service Organizations: A Context-Specific Study
IntroductionSince the late 1980s, marketing scholars have conceptualized market orientation as an organizational culture dedicated toward delivering superior customer value (Narver & Slater, 1990) or organizational-level behavior regarding generating,...
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Perspective Index of Production Workers: Analysis of "Gemba Capabilities in Electrical and Electronics Industry"
IntroductionUsing data obtained from a questionnaire of 354 workplace leaders and 3,116 workers at 97 factories in Japan's electrical and electronics industry, this study examines relationships among a perspective index, job satisfaction, and desire...
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Exploring the Characteristics of Pharmaceutical Product Development: A Cross-Industry Perspective
IntroductionPharmaceutical product development is considered to be unique. However, the uniqueness of drug development in comparison with other industries has never been clearly explained, either academically or practically. Numerous studies have focused...
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Vol. 14, No. 2, 2015

Where Is Bounded Rationality From?
IntroductionHerbert A. Simon, the author of Administrative Behavior (Simon, 1947, 1957, 1976, 1997), was born on June 15, 1916 and died on February 9, 2001. In 1978, he received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his pioneering research...
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Dynamic Capability as Fashion
1. IntroductionThe question of how best to create an adaptive state with environments and organizations has been an important and fundamental theme in strategic and organizational theory (Andrews, 1971; Chandler, 1962; Miles & Snow, 1978). Research...
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Requirement for Engineers in Embedded Software Development Outsourcing
1. IntroductionThis study identifies the impact of hardware product characteristics on the embedded software development outsourcing.Software development separates modules and processes to a great degree, and codification is considered a simple matter....
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Disruptive Innovation: A Case of Full Mold Casting
1. IntroductionThere exist sustaining innovations that improve product performance according to existing criteria. In addition, there exist disruptive innovations that can replace existing products, first improving product performance in a different...
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Vol. 14, No. 1, 2015

Behind the Shell: Rigid Persons Clung onto It
Introduction"The iron cage revisited" (DiMaggio & Powell, 1983) is a well-known paper that discusses "isomorphism" in organizations (Yasuda & Takahashi, 2007). The paper begins with an introduction of the final part of The Protestant Ethic and...
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Garbage Can Code: Mysteries in the Original Simulation Model
IntroductionThe garbage can model created by Cohen, March, and Olsen (1972) is a well-known model for decision making under ambiguity. It has had a tremendous impact on business organizational theory, and has been discussed in many textbooks (Daft, 2004;...
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A Missing Piece of Mutual Learning Model of March (1991)
(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)IntroductionWhen multiple learners (including the organization) learning simultaneously affect each other, March referred to the learning process as the ecology of learning (Takase, 1991, p. 60). The ecology model...
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Mottainai Innovation
IntroductionFirms acquire resources and utilize them to create products and services. In general, it is not that a single resource can yield only a single product or service. In an usual case, firms acquire several products and services from a single...
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Vol. 13, No. 6, 2014

Four Side Views of Blue LED Patent Pricing
Abstract: The price of patents is limited by four sides of business management: (1) avoiding costs of the patent in question; (2) founder's profit of inventors, such as researchers and engineers, to bear risks involved in business establishment; (3)...
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Effect of Job Type on Perspective Index: A Case of Mito Shinkin Bank
Abstract: In this study, all employees (including part-time employees) of a shinkin bank were surveyed using the organizational activation diagnostic tool "oractika," developed by Takahashi (1997). Similar to Takahashi (2014), the results of the survey...
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Technological Change from Analog to Digital: Aircraft Engine Control System
Abstract: Brusoni, Prencipe, and Pavitt (2001) posited that the digitization of aircraft engine control systems in the early 1980s caused loose organizational coupling. During this period, the number of control parameters indeed increased significantly...
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Lukewarm Feeling in Company X from 2004-2013
Abstract: Japanese companies often criticize themselves on their own "nurumayu [lukewarm] nature"; however, in reality, according to Takahashi (1989), the lukewarm feeling felt by organization members can be explained through the effective temperature...
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Competition and Collaboration between Japanese and Taiwanese Firms in Optical Disk Industries
Abstract: Historically, Japanese firms have been leading the optical disk industry in technological development and market development; however, Taiwanese and Korean firms are quickly catching up and have surpassed Japanese firms in terms of production...
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Vol. 13, No. 5, 2014

Spurious Correlation between Self-Determination and Job Satisfaction: A Case of Company X from 2004-2013
Abstract: In most Japanese companies, regular employees work under a lifetime employment system and a seniority-based pay system. Under such conditions of no contingent money payments, we can accurately observe the phenomena associated with intrinsic...
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The Integration of Lean and Socio-Technical Practices in Sweden
Abstract: Though lean production has its origin in the Toyota Production System (TPS), it has become popular across various industries. During this process, a striking situation has occurred in Sweden, particularly in its service industry. This paper...
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How Do We Understand Organizational Identity Effect?
Abstract: Organizational identity is a set of characteristics that reflect an organization's distinctiveness. The solution to the issues of organizational identity requires an individual and specific comprehension. Therefore, cross-sectional quantitative...
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How to Avoid Fork: The Guardians of Denshin 8 Go
Abstract: In terms of software, "continuous development" of the software is the best quality assurance. Continuous development requires either the original developer to continue development, or the next generation of developers to take over the development....
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Vol. 13, No. 4, 2014

Spurious Correlation between Economies and Scale: Model T Ford Revisited
Abstract: It is common knowledge that expansion in the scale of production leads to economies of scale. A correlation between economies and scale does exist. However, the reality on the shop floor, in Japanese, "gemba," in actual manufacturing is that...
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How to Use Models of Organizational Decision Making?
Abstract: When explaining organizational decision making, there is often an implicit assumption that an organization makes decisions based on rational principles. However, there are situations in which rationality cannot explain all phenomena. Moreover,...
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Perspective Index in Company X from 2004-2013
Abstract: The perspective index (Takahashi, 2014) was tested in a company that has been successful in the process of organizational reform, Company X. An exhaustive survey (Survey X) for all employees was conducted once a fiscal year from 2004 to 2013....
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Industrial Cluster Formation and Development: Software Development Outsourcing Industry in Dalian
1. IntroductionThis paper discusses the formation process of the industrial agglomeration in Dalian, China for the software development outsourcing from Japanese companies. Let us first understand the basic figures of Dalian's software and IT service...
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Vol. 13, No. 1, 2014

Intergenerational Competitive Strategies for Industry Standards
1. IntroductionAs is well known, securing the industry standard is critical in corporate strategy, particularly for products affected by network externality. Companies have fiercely competed over formats for music records and VTRs in the past and, more...
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Vol. 12, No. 6, 2013

On the Future Parameter
1. IntroductionWhen people make decisions, whether consciously or subconsciously, the decisions are made according to some rule or principle. Let us call this the decision principle. There are various kinds of decision principles in decision theory that...
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Vol. 12, No. 3, 2013

Positive Effect of Non-Territorial Office on Privacy: Allen's Experiment Secret
Abstract: The office research in environmental psychology that was inspired by the non-territorial office experiments of Allen and his colleagues in 1970, and undertaken since the 1980s, deemed privacy in the open office setting problematic; however,...
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UNIX License Makes Linux the Last Major Piece of the Puzzle
Abstract: From 1992 to 1994, BSD which was UNIX developed at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), found itself involved in a license-related lawsuit filed by AT&T. At around the same time, the GNU project, which developed a UNIX-like...
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Why Do Japanese Companies Exploit Many Expatriates?: Analysis of Overseas Subsidiaries in Japanese Companies
Abstract: A cross table was created to classify 25 overseas subsidiaries of Japanese companies. They were classified under overseas subsidiaries with many expatriates and overseas subsidiaries with few expatriates, as well as overseas subsidiaries with...
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Free and Open Source Are Not Necessary Conditions of Successful Development: The Case of "Hidemaru Mail"
Abstract: "Free" and "open source" are not requirements for successful software development. The argument that "early and frequent upgrades" are one indicator of successful software development does not imply the necessity of users updating the source...
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Vol. 12, No. 2, 2013

New Product Development in Financial Industries: Media Tangibility and Media Durability of Financial Products
Abstract: It is not suitable to apply characteristics used in service industries such as intangibility, simultaneity, heterogeneity, or perishability when analyzing financial products. When considering the property of media, financial products are intangible,...
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Jumping to Hasty Experience Curves: The Learning Curve Revisited
Abstract: The "experience curve" used to be treated as a rule of thumb in strategic management theory. However, it would be hasty to conclude that an approximately 80% log-linear experience curve is a rule of thumb regardless of the industry, company,...
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"Customer's Customer" Strategy: An Empirical Study of Product Development in Japanese Chemical Industry
Abstract: The customers of industrial goods are not consumers but companies having expert knowledge. Therefore, a conventional idea appeals a stereotyped pattern that the product development process of industrial goods should conform to the expert customers'...
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Immature Brand Management of Electronics Retail Stores in Vietnam: New Explanation of Predicament of Japanese Companies in Emerging Markets
Abstract: This paper discusses the immature brand management in electronic retail stores in Vietnam by conducting field research. Previous studies have suggested that Japanese companies find themselves in a predicament with other emerging markets, mainly...
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Vol. 12, No. 1, 2013

Is Technological Trajectory Disruptive?
Abstract: Christensen and Bower (1996) and Christensen (1997, 2003) discuss disruptive innovation by applying Dosi's concept of disruptive technological trajectories (Dosi, 1982). In the studies on performance of hard disk drives, Christensen uses and...
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A Dynamic View of Industrial Agglomeration: Toward an Integration of Marshallian and Weberian Theories
Abstract: This study first outlines the classic Marshallian and Weberian theories of industrial agglomeration, highlighting the difference between Weber's theory, which "discusses the process of agglomeration emergence, based on predictable profit, from...
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Followers of Harvard Study: A Review of Product Development Research 1990s-2000s
Abstract: A diversification of research approaches became apparent in the field of product development management in the 1990s, based on a monumental study by Clark and Fujimoto (1991) (the so-called "Harvard Study"). The following five new research...
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Local Engineers as Knowledge Liaison: How Denso India Succeed in Developing Wiper-System for Tata Nano
Abstract: Developing localized products that accurately reflect the needs of local customers became an important issue for many Japanese companies that have globally expanded using standardized products. This is because the reasoning and value standards...
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Vol. 11, 2012

Mysteries of NIH Syndrome
Abstract: Many studies cite Katz and Allen (1982) as a validation of Not-Invented-Here (NIH) syndrome. However, their "validation" is misled by 1) easily adopting a smoothing method on a scatter diagram with no clear trends, and 2) arbitrarily choosing...
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Product Development Research Cycle: A Historical Review 1960s-1980s
Abstract: Empirical researches of new product developments began in earnest in the 1960s with the "grand approach." These researches clarified general success factors through the comprehensive analysis of successful project profiles. In the 1970s, the...
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The Evolution of Production Systems: Exploring the Sources of Toyota's Competitiveness
Abstract: This paper analyzes the formation process of production systems in order to identify the sources of Toyota's competitive strength (i.e., its long-term high-level performance). While previous studies have analyzed either the functions of the...
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Routine-Based View of Organizational Learning and Mechanisms of Myopia
Abstract: Levinthal and March (1993) are popularly supposed to have developed a concept "myopia of learning" to reveal negative aspects of organizational learning. However, myopia of learning is not a problem in itself. The myopia of learning means that...
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A Japanese Factory in Thailand: Seeking Acceptance of Kaizen Activities
Abstract: The author conducted in-depth field research to examine changes in a three-year period of kaizen activities in a Japanese factory in Thailand. This research showed that for kaizen activities to be effective, (a) commitment from top managers...
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