Japan's Computer and Communications Industry: The Evolution of Industrial Giants and Global Competitiveness

By Martin Fransman | Go to book overview

APPENDIX 3 The Strengths and Weaknesses of Japanese Information and Communications Companies: A Competence-Based Analysis

The Revisionist Critique of Japanese Information and Communications Companies

Since the crisis that hit IBM in the early 1990s, which coincidentally occurred at the same time as a major downturn in the Japanese economy, conventional wisdom has turned far more bearish regarding the future prospects for the Japanese information and communications (IC) industry. While previously conventional wisdom saw Japanese companies as posing an increasing threat to their Western rivals, now Japanese strength is often seen as confined to the 'commodity' end of the industry.

An example of this new conventional wisdom is one of the better of the popular books analysing the 'post-IBM world', Ferguson and Morris's Computer Wars: How The West Can Win in a Post-IBM World. According to these authors,

the computer wars are essentially a two-party contest between the US and Japan. But Japanese computer companies are not the primary threat to American firms. . . . The threat comes from Japanese component-makers. . . . While the Japanese control less than a quarter of the computer industry, they make well over half of its components. . . . The Japanese will drive to componentize and commoditize every sector of the industry so their great monolithic and lean manufacturing skills can define the industry's future.1

Ferguson and Morris argue that it is this same set of competences--which they refer to as 'commodity implementation'--that underlies Japanese international competitiveness in products such as faxes, liquid crystal displays, laser engines for laser printers, televisions, and memory semiconductors. In the case of faxes, they say:

The strategy for leading the world . . . is straightforward: learn the standard and engineer multiple products that provide a range of features within the single standard; be sure they look nice, are well made, and can be turned out in high volume very cheaply. Then manufacture zillions of them to drive down unit costs and keep price pressure on your competition. Plow your earnings back into improving manufacturing and tinkering with the product's features, so the cost keeps moving down.2

____________________
1
C. H. Ferguson and C. R. Morris, Computer Wars: How the West Can Win in a Post-IBM World, Times Books, New York, 1993, pp. 220-1.

-485-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Japan's Computer and Communications Industry: The Evolution of Industrial Giants and Global Competitiveness
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 546

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    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.