Japanese Technology and Innovation Management
From Know-How to Know-Who. Elgar Monographs
Many companies today are unable to respond fast enough to market shifts because they have concentrated too much on making technology more specialized to their own needs, hoping that this will preserve their competitive edge. Unfortunately, this has actually left many R&D staff short of the cross-functional skills they need to enable large projects to work. This innovative and original book, written by a leading management consultant, addresses these concerns and provides new insights into the theories and practices of innovation management. Ultimately, this book argues, the innovation process is no longer limited to 'know-how' but depends instead on 'know-who'. For companies to remain competitive and respond to market shifts, they must change their focus from internal specialization to learning through relationships. Three in-depth case studies from Canon, Sony and Toyota demonstrate the intracorporate benefits of external collaboration. This book provides concrete examples on how these companies use the principles of open sharing ideas, technologies and human resources; and performance measurement systems that reward cooperation and collective achievements.
More importantly, it links the Japanese 'learning through know-who principle' with these practices in order to explain the high R&D performance, reduced development lead-times and improved overall competitiveness of these three firms. This book will be of great interest to business managers, international scholars of R&D and innovation and postgraduate students taking courses in technology and innovation.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'This well-researched book provides abundant examples to illustrate his points, and his research is evident in other ways as he questions the conclusions by other authors about Japanese management. His summaries at the end of the book are concise and fairly clear ... The index is extensive and quite useful ... This book is a must-read for middle and senior managers of large and medium-sized companies seeking improvements in their own R&D and product development organizations. This book will also interest new product development managers at all levels who are interested in looking at a model for incorporating new technology in products ... In short, the book is well-researched and thorough.' -- Derrel Fincher, Journal of Product Innovation and Management 'This is a very important book where the issue of networking for innovation process is dealt with from a management perspective. It provides an insight into the nature and various types of networks which are operational in Japanese corporates. The book begins by emphasising on some of the unique features of Japanese technology and innovation management practices. This is followed by an insight into the theoretical perspectives on R&D management and innovation. Technology management is then perceived in a network mode where external linkages are located in the network. This would be very useful for R&D management people, policymakers, and researchers in the management areas.' -- N. Mrinalini, Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research 'Dr Harryson provides a pioneering analysis of the product development process in three leading Japanese companies - Canon, Sony and Toyata. With in-depth study of the Japanese organizational methods in contrast to Western approaches to technological development, his work adds a major new dimension to our understanding of the research and development process. The study provides a full explanation for the high levels of R & D productivity and the exceptionally short development lead-times that make the best of Japanese companies so formidable in the market place. Western businessmen will find this book of exceptional value in challenging conventional wisdom regarding R&D management, and suggesting new approaches to organizing for innovation.' -- James C. Abegglen, Asia Advisory Service 'Regardless of type of industry, you will learn from this well written book and its excellent examples, how to manage technology and innovation for more successful exploration of new technologies and evolving customer needs.' -- Jan Ekberg, Chairman or Boardmember of Eight Multinational Companies, including Pharmacia and Upjohn