In the Japanese electrical and electronics industry, examples abound of factory managers proposing and introducing new products for production in factories that have retained their competitiveness. In other words, adding new products activates shop floor communication. This research uses data from a survey to analyze the “openness” (kazetōshi, which literally means "ventilation" in Japanese, is an indicator of communication activity) of the shop floor organization. This analysis, while not revealing a correlation between openness and quality, cost, delivery, and flexibility (QCDF), does reveal a positive, significant correlation between openness, the “number of new product introductions,” and “new product proposal/development.” In reality, factories in which the latter two factors had a greater presence had good openness. This suggests that factory managers’ actions and policies of proposing and adding new products help to activate shop floor organizational communication.
Creatures differentiate themselves into various species through the process of evolution wherein individuals adapt to their environment. Similarly, products adapt to the environment of each country to evolve into products with completely different characteristics. This paper discusses computer role-playing games (CRPGs), which have evolved into different products in Japan from those in the West despite having the same roots. In the West, CRPGs emerged from table-top role-playing games (TRPGs) that reproduced it with video games. Through the technical developments thereafter, many TRPG fans became involved in the development. This was to recreate similar “fun” as TRPGs and emphasize “story developments based on the free selection of actions” and “realistic simulations in virtual worlds.” On the other hand, importation from Western CRPGs was the basis of Japanese CRPGs. Japan came into contact with CRPGs first instead of with TRPGs. The elements of CRPGs were different from the essential elements of TRPGs. The elements differed with regard to the following characteristics: (1) “fixed storylines” due to the technical limitations of CRPGs at the time; (2) the “systems that bring about character development by accumulating experience points and increasing the levels” were considered to be “fun”; (3) the anime-style character designs influenced by Japan’s manga and anime culture were further added and diffused as CRPG standards in Japan. This resulted in the genre known as Japanese role-playing games, which sought after a different type of “fun” that have heterogeneity compared with TRPG and CRPG in the West.
Why do companies continue to invest in projects in the red and in areas from which competitors exit successively? Many companies have exited the two-layered copper clad laminate (CCL) market, which is part of the greater electronics material market. Among companies in that market, Nippon Steel Chemical continued to operate and became successful despite running a deficit for more than 10 years. Like the company’s competitors, Nippon Steel Chemical has considered halting investment in research and development of two-layered CCLs. However, the company decided to continue investing because it implemented a system for making decisions that emphasizes assessments of potential major customers, in addition to its own standard internal assessments.
Based on the findings of Kosuge and Takahashi (2016) and existing literature, this paper hypothesized that market orientation leads to continuous improvement and tested this hypothesis using a measure of “kaizen readiness.” The results, based on responses from all the salespersons at 54 shops of an automobile dealership company, demonstrated that market orientation certainly has a strong positive correlation with kaizen readiness. The hypothesis was supported from a 2×2 cross table where market orientation and kaizen readiness were divided into high and low groups, even though it was revealed that four highly performing shops had low market orientation but high kaizen readiness. Additional investigation revealed that these four shops were not shifting toward a market orientation because they could achieve their sales targets by following their customary method of doing business.
The phenomenon of a “shake-out” (sharp decrease) caused by a large number of companies in an industry occurs with the emergence of a “dominant design.” However, no such shake-out occurred in Japan’s online securities industry. This is because apart from Matsui Securities Co., Ltd., the creator of a dominant design and considered to be the “only winner” in online securities, this industry was not as impacted by “process innovation” as a manufacturing industry. This was because online securities firms implemented package software systems made for the securities industry by one of the two major vendors. As a result, while other companies did not have a high level of performance as Matsui Securities, they survived although they did not become major players. In other words, establishing dominant design for services, as opposed to products, may serve to suppress, rather than promote, the exit of companies.
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