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 re-uses “a reprinted graph," in which time and performance are on the horizontal and vertical axes. However, careful examination of different publications shows a varying shape and vertical axis, raising doubts about its reliability. In fact, whether the technological trajectories look disruptive or sustaining depends on the unit on the vertical axis. To present the nature of technological trajectories, it would appear more appropriate to set the vertical axis to volumetric recording density for hard disk drives. Moreover, the technological trajectories of hard disk drives would not be disruptive, if the vertical axis was adjusted to reflect weights of hard disk drives or amounts of their electricity use. It is conceivable that Christensen came to this conclusion that the technological trajectories are disruptive before considering a more appropriate performance measure for them.
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 a state of nothingness," and Marshall's theory, which “discusses the process of continued self-reinforcement of existing agglomeration." Consequently, one cannot expect to understand the dynamism of industrial agglomeration by viewing these two theories separately. This study integrates the two theories to identify a framework for viewing industrial agglomeration dynamically. Specifically, this paper pays particular attention to “gatekeeper"-type companies, which capture the demand from markets outside the industrial agglomeration and make use of networks within the industrial agglomeration to meet that demand.
A diversification of research approaches became apparent in the field of product development management in the 1990s, ased on a monumental study by Clark and Fujimoto (1991) (the so-called “Harvard Study"). The following five new research approaches then came into play. The “product-industry based approach," sought to clarify effective product development management by focusing on the characteristics of products and industry. The “multi-project approach" analyzed multiple projects over single projects. The “dynamic approach" focused on the dynamic aspects of product development from the long-term perspective. The “problem-solving approach" regarded product development as a problem-solving process. The “organizational capability approach" sought to elucidate organizational capabilities that contribute to high performance in product development.
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 of local customers concerning cost or product performance are tacit market knowledge. Thus, the technological knowledge of home country engineers is not enough for developing successful localized products. Here, the role of local engineers becomes critical. In the case of Denso India, local engineers have been sent to Japan for training since the late 1990s, that is, when new Denso factories were launched in India. The purpose of the training is to strengthen local engineering capabilities by encouraging talented local engineers. This served to effectively connect Japan's technological knowledge with the knowledge of local markets. The local engineers who were trained in Japan have access to technological resources at Denso's headquarters. In addition, local engineers can observe and interpret customer needs more accurately and incorporate them into products designs because they share tacit market knowledge with the local customers. This case highlights the importance of training and utilizing local engineers for connecting technological knowledge in the headquarters with market knowledge in the host country.