This paper proposes to combine supplier-side and purchaser-side logic in a new model of Japanese industrial districts. We interviewed large retail firms that were purchasers for industrial districts and 21 small-scale firms located in Tokyo's Ota Ward and Joto area that were the suppliers. Our interviews clearly highlighted the importance of business practices called “Kouza" and “Chouai." Large enterprises on the purchaser side deal only with kouza-holding firms (direct suppliers) and chouai-saki, which coordinate sub-suppliers. The assumption of such business practices implies that firms holding kouza within the industrial district are a necessity for purchasers to enjoy economies of agglomeration.
This paper examines the relationship between the emergence of independent Chinese automobile manufacturers (ICAMs) and International Technology Transfer. Many scholars indicate that the use of outside supplies is the sole reason for the high-speed growth of ICAMs. However, it is necessary to outline the reasons and factors that might contribute to the process at the company-level. This paper is based on the organizational view. It examines and clarifies the internal dynamics of the ICAMs from a historical perspective. The paper explores the role that international technology transfer has played in the emergence of ICAMs. In conclusion, it is clear that due to direct or indirect spillover from joint ventures, ICAMs were able to autonomously construct the necessary core competitive abilities.
Effective new product development (NPD) is one of the most important processes firms should undertake in order to achieve a competitive advantage This paper will analyze the NPD process and explore organizational capabilities by presenting two case studies of the material industry. These analyses demonstrate that it is significant for material suppliers to evaluate not only material specifications but also the production process of their users and the performances of the users' products (system products). We call this “evaluating capabilities" and propose that knowledge beyond the business domain is necessary to achieve a competitive advantage.
The study reported in this paper examines how the TQM implementation efforts of a Sri Lankan public hospital were accomplished alongside an attempt to change its culture. The study revealed that the change in the cultural values of the hospital occurred as a result of the implementation of Japanese 5S-based TQM activities. However, it was the democratic leadership and communication of the CEO that functioned as the intermediating factor for this change. The CEO's personal values created and maintained an ideal type communication with the different employee categories for the successful integration of TQM activities. Further, the study revealed that the selected national cultural values of Sri Lanka did not constrain the democratic leadership values of the CEO.
The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of modularization by Japanese firms on the basis of the analytical framework of product architecture. Japanese firms try to create system control modules, and attempt the rationalization of the design. However, they always design systems using the basic concept of integral type architecture. Modularization by Japanese firms is not a random design. It is the result of a design strategy that simultaneously achieves the optimization and rationalization of the product design. This paper reviews the product modularization processes of Japanese firms based on the analytical framework of product architecture theory. Basically, Japanese manufacturing firms have created system control modules to achieve rational product designs. However, conceptually, the system was always designed as an integral type. We conclude that, to Japanese firms, modularization is not a random choice of design but is the result of design strategies to simultaneously meet the optimization and rationalization of the product design.