This study clarifies that a home base without mass production activities can support foreign factories by acting as a mother factory through the case of Minebea Co., Ltd. Minebea's home base has aggressively gathered information on mass production from their foreign factories and has continued to accumulate knowledge on mass production, even after discontinuing its own mass production activities. Although the home factory is inactive in terms of mass production, it has succeeded in supporting mass production at their foreign factory as a “knowledge-intensive mother factory,” the factory that possesses knowledge on mass production without engaging in any mass production activity. It was found that a home base can possess knowledge that exceeds its boundary of activities, enabling it to act as a mother factory supporting mass production at foreign factories without engaging in any mass production.
Rousseau (1989) is known for her study that redefined the psychological contract and made quantitative analysis of it possible. This study clarified the concept of the psychological contract by contrasting it with the implied contract. Following this study, studies and conceptual expansion of the psychological contract have progressed; however, even Rousseau herself has stopped mentioning the implied contract. However, the implied contract, an objectively observable reciprocal pattern, is practically a substantial contract and is highly likely to be considered as a contract by courts, even if it is not stipulated in writing. Furthermore, a violation of the implied contract results in a termination response, which confirms its existence even more clearly. Therefore, this study summarizes anew the differences between the psychological and implied contracts and defines the phenomenon that should be classified as the implied contract.
Managers are required to eliminate resistance for making organizational changes. Previous studies have suggested that managers with sufficient power should be aware of the need for an organizational change and promote such changes. However, these factors alone are inadequate. This study presents a comparative case study of an organizational change effected by two dealership managers with identical levels of power at the Japanese auto dealer company X. Results revealed that the dealership manager who succeeded at an organizational change took a long-term perspective and was process oriented. In contrast, when the manager focused on short-term results, the dealership fell into temporal myopia and failed at an organizational change. Myopia is not always a problem, but it impedes an organizational change in sales organizations where results are easily quantifiable and feedback is rapid.
This study examined the relation between office environment and employees' communication satisfaction within the office based on the study results of Company X, which underwent a change in office layout. Company X implemented a change in office layout to create an office environment that would revitalize communication and be easier to work in. Specifically, the idea was not to change the office space but to ensure sufficient meeting spaces. The results of the study found the following: 1) the evaluation of the office environment improved, resulting in the ease of communication; 2) employees' communication satisfaction in the office had an improving trend, although it was slightly limited; 3) On the other hand, depending on the occupation, the needs for the office environment for improving communication satisfaction were so different that they were virtually polar opposites, despite working in the same office. This suggested that the improvement in communication satisfaction created by the change in office layout was limited.
According to Foster (1986), technological progress naturally forms an S-curve. However, this study examines the progress of manufacturable sheet glass thickness using the float process and reveals that license agreements with grant-back clauses shape technological progress, indicated by an S-curve. More specifically, a competition for development was generated among licensees of the float process during the initial phase of licensing. Progress accelerated in the range of thicknesses in which plates could be manufactured. Nonetheless, at the end of license terms when parties are aware of expiring patents, research and development is suppressed due to grant-back clauses. This occurred because the parties attempted to outflank the competition after patents have expired. Thus, technological progress halts; however, this is a false S-curve that is not based on natural law. In fact, in the case of a float process, technological progress began once again after patents expired.
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