This paper reexamines product development in the Japanese electrical industry after WWII from the perspective of strategies for reducing licensing costs. Immediately after the war, Japanese electronics manufacturers raised their own level of technology by introducing technology from abroad. However, in their effort to arrive at corporate policies enabling them to provide products at as low a price as possible, there was a limit to the sheer amount of licensing costs they could bear to carry out licensed production. Japanese electronics manufacturers, in many cases, engaged in cross-licensing based on their own patents in order to offset licensing fees and keep costs down. To further control licensing costs, manufacturers had no choice but to produce products based on licenses already in hand; each electronics manufacturer established a central R&D laboratory. Up until the early 1990s, “Not Invented Here” was a widely adopted philosophy which, as it turns out, was a historically unique approach.
Since the 1990s, simulation and organizational studies have been conducted in Japan. In this paper, we review the simulation and organizational studies in Japan, including the relationships between researchers. The global trend is to cite the results of simulation studies as metaphors. By contrast, in Japan, there are unique research groups which critically examine the existing models, perform simulations, and further test them against survey data. The lessons they learned are: (a) The animation of the simulation results stir the imagination of researchers and business persons. However, (b) if the phenomena indicated by simulation and the reality of parameter values are not supported by the survey data, the implications derived from simulation are no more than a delusion.
This study shows that it is possible to use position information to estimate the volume of communication in offices to some degree based on (1) office position information from sensing technology and (2) data from daily questionnaires from a survey of 308 employees in a corporate office. The relationship between the office environment and communication has come to the fore in recent years, and the findings of this study suggest how communication within an office can be estimated for a large sample at a low cost.