The purpose of this study is to discuss the effects of temporal technological diversification on firm performance. Prior research has mainly addressed the effects of spatial dimension, of geography or globalization, as regards technological diversification on firm performance. However, previous research suggests that temporal dimension in technological diversification also affects firm performance. Here, temporal dimension is defined as the rate of change in technology.
Two mechanisms are examined in this study. One is Top Management Team(TMT)'s information processing load. Existing research shows that effective technology management depends on the temporal dimension of that technology. Therefore, when TMT handles temporally different technology, the information process loads increase. The other is coordination cost. Research on diversification shows that related diversification increases firm performance but coordination cost decreases it. Because temporally different technology increases coordination cost, related but temporally different technology decreases firm performance.
Using 12 chemical companies as the sample, we test the effects of temporal technological diversification on firm performance. The results show that (1) the effects of temporal technological diversification on performance are mixed and (2) the cost of temporal technological diversification exceeds the benefit of related technological diversification.
How does a firm or an industry defend itself against a technological change? This paper aims to determine the ways in which the photograph shop industry could have survived persistently despite the technological change in the digitization of photography. This digitization could have had a serious impact on photo shops whose business was developing and printing photography in the silver halide photography era.
In this case-study analysis, we explore the optimum timing of the reaction to a technological change by focusing on the following two factors: consumers' behavior and existing competence.
Photo shops launched a new business of digital photo printing by introducing digital mini-labs (i.e., printing devices) and succeeded in acquiring the printing demand of digital photography. The digital mini-labs diffused early, and this prevented users of digital still cameras from switching from photo shops to inkjet color printers. The new business of digital photo printing adapted to consumers' photography habit when shifting from silver halide to digital photography. Hence, consumers could maintain their choice of consumption, to which they were already accustomed. The countermeasures of introducing digital mini-labs and launching a new business for the users of digital still camera were effective because they were conducted when the consumers were still bringing their photographs to photo shops. These findings imply the possibility of incumbent firms reacting actively to technological changes using their asset of consumer habit or by affecting to the one.
Furthermore, the fact that digital mini-lab's printing mechanism is changing from wet (i.e., printing to silver halide paper) to dry (i.e., inkjet color printer) implies that the photo shop industry could have survived not because it sought technology that would become dominant technology in the future but because it made use of transient technology existing only at that time to maintain consumer habit.
In previous research, the concept of a team mental model (TMM) has been used to explain how teams can improve performance by examining the shared and organized understanding of team members' knowledge, characteristics, and attitudes. Although a number of studies have investigated broad categories of antecedents of TMMs, this study focuses on the face-to-face communication among team members as an antecedent of a TMM. Few studies have explored how communication among members in firms or organizations fosters the shaping of TMMs. Most studies on TMMs have been conducted in laboratory settings, with little research done in firms. Although researchers have developed an understanding of the shared knowledge structures of intra-team members' knowledge, little attention has been given to the knowledge of members in other teams. Thus, one purpose of this study is to examine how face-to-face communication among team members influences TMMs. Another purpose is to examine how intra-team and inter-team TMMs impact team performance. To achieve these purposes, data were collected from 123 workers in various settings, including manufacturers, financial institutions, government entities, and educational institutions. There are three main findings. First, frequent face-to-face communication among team members is positively related to intra-team member-related TMM, measured as a combination of organized knowledge structures of team members' knowledge, emotion, and coordination. Second, organized knowledge structures of team members' knowledge and coordination have a positive impact on team performance, particularly in meeting the needs of a customer or firm and in effective utilization of time. Third, an organized knowledge structure of the knowledge of members in the other teams positively influences team performance when task interdependence between the teams is high. The conclusions are as follows: (1) face-to-face communication among team members is important in understanding team members' knowledge and (2) when intra-team members know what knowledge members of the other teams have, the team members can utilize relevant knowledge they did not have before, thereby improving their performance.
One of the issues faced by Japanese companies relates to their proprietary technologies: even though they had developed high technology, they could not achieve high economic performance and business competency. However, some companies succeeded in expanding technologies in other business fields and commercializing them based on their high-functional propriety technologies. According to March's (1991) study, these companies exploited existing technologies to find new customers and create new markets.
Hence, we discuss and identify the logic of creating additional value, which appeals to potential customers, especially in expanding different business fields for companies. We seek an effective strategy for SMEs to create non-functional value in addition to existing functional value through two case studies: Aichi dobby and Kondo-Kikai, which developed and manufactured new in-house goods for new markets and customers.
We found three common features in these case studies. 1) Understand the problems of existing products, which trend in different markets, and find a solution that provides high value to potential customers in different markets. 2) Concentrate promotional activities toward existing and potential customers, understand the utility and usability of newly developed products, and transform target customers from “Business to Business” (B2B) to “Business to Consumer” (B2C). 3) Follow up activities for new customers regarding the utility and usability of newly developed products that they bought, and maintain a long-term relationship with such customers.
Therefore, we reconfirmed that it was an important strategy for SMEs to create non-functional value while adding functional value in different business fields and finding new and potential customers based on their core functional proprietary technologies.
In this study, from the case of earthquake resistant measures as local government, “solution by postponement of problems” becomes apparent. Then, try to theoretical explanation of this phenomenon.
The phenomenon that does not correspond to problems found can be seen in local government. However, the existing literature on decision making of local government is limited. Further, there are models that target administrative organization of decision making such as Simon's decision making model and the garbage can model. But, their models do not include this phenomenon, which does not necessarily seem to reflect the actual conditions.
Therefore, this study reveals whether the phenomenon that does not correspond to problems found exists in local government. Then, if this phenomenon is present, along with revelation the occurrence process, try description in the existing decision making models.
First of all, questionnaire survey shows existence of non-correspondence to problems found by the lower rank organization. And, this survey shows that factors of this phenomenon are adjustment of a lot of divisions, change of policy by higher rank organization, and unclear of priority problems.
Secondly, by the case analysis of earthquake resistant measures, the non-correspondence to problems found, in fact, become apparent to have a positive effect in the decision making process. Concretely, by non-correspondence to problems, decision making process proceeds, and, lower rank organization solves problems that are not corresponded to.
This study defines “solution by postponement of problems” as positive aspect of non-correspondence to problems. And, “solution by postponement of problems” can be understood by a synthesis point of view of both Simon's decision making model and the garbage can model. Concretely, Simon's decision making model can grasp intention of problem solving and sequence of decision making process. The garbage can model can grasp the occurrence of unexpected important problems during decision making process and timing of decision making process.
Research and development (R&D) internationalization, which generally follows sales and production internationalization, is critical for the innovation and the knowledge creation of multi-national enterprises (MNEs). However, the localization of R&D, especially new product development (NPD), at foreign subsidiaries has not been sufficiently analyzed. Previous research of NPD management suggested that Japanese automobile assemblers' NPD capability is characterized as an interdependency among varieties of tasks supported by careful integration and coordination. It is also suggested that since such NPD capability is based on Japanese culture and the country's social system, it is difficult to transfer to foreign countries. Our research addresses the following question: How did Japanese automobile assemblers transfer their NPD capability to foreign subsidiaries? We analyzed NPD projects at Toyota's R&D center in the U.S. and focused on the localization of NPD tasks and human resource management (HRM), such as recruiting and promoting local employees. Our first finding is that the localization of NPD tasks and HRM has progressed gradually in a long-term (15-20 years) period. Within that process, core project members shifted from dispatched Japanese expatriates in the early stage to American engineers as they accumulated NPD experience in the later stage. This implies that expatriate engineers play the main role of NPD activities and that HRM localization is initially difficult at foreign R&D subsidiaries. Second, various international collaborations and complicated coordination between the R&D center in the U.S. and its R&D headquarter in Japan were arranged and apparently brought in American engineers with affluent opportunities to learn the NPD capability. Third, the localization of NPD tasks and HRM localization progressed cautiously by confirming development quality. This observation implies that securing development quality is a condition of localizing R&D tasks and HRM at foreign subsidiaries that has generally been overlooked in previous research.
Prior research on entrepreneurial orientation (EO) has substantially advanced our understanding of EO and firm performance. However, the underlying mechanism of the specific aspects of EO and firm growth remain unexplored. This study investigates the relationship between EO, a firm's boundary decision, and firm growth. When firms aim to grow, their boundary decisions consist of decisions regarding internal, external, and collaborative expansion. Among the various types of collaborative expansion strategies, franchising is popular in the restaurant industry. This study explores how a firm's boundary decision on either internal expansion or franchising affects the firm's growth rate; EO affects both a knowledge transfer system and the firm's boundary decision. From the responses of 161 restaurant firms, I analyze these effects using structural equation modeling. The findings are as follows. First, proactiveness and risk-taking have positive and negative effects on efficient knowledge transfer respectively. This result implies that firms with strong proactiveness and/ or risk aversion seek to establish efficient knowledge transfer systems. Second, an efficient knowledge system has positive effects on adopting franchising strategy. Franchising systems enable inexperienced individuals to operate restaurants in a short time—this characteristic requires efficient knowledge transfer between franchisees and the franchisor. Third, franchising has positive effects on the growth rate of firms. This result supports prior franchising research findings that firms can overcome managerial limits to firm growth through the franchising strategy. The findings suggest that investigating role of a firm's boundary decision and knowledge transfer system enhances the understanding of the relationship between EO and the firm growth rate.