Policy Research Domains (Major Policy Research Domains) II. Promoting Innovation and Strengthening International Competitiveness

Research into Japanese Companies' Architecture and Design Processes

Project Leader/Sub-Leader


FUJIMOTO Takahiro Faculty Fellow




In the debate in economics about trade and industrial competitiveness, and in research into comparative advantage in particular, the tacit premise has been that within the entire process of producing goods, the importance of the physical production process, or, in other words, the efficient use of resources in that process, constitutes the foundation of a country's trade structure and industrial structure. However, in numerous tradable-goods industries, among which it is the rule rather than the exception today to be characterized by increasing returns to scale and product differentiation, the inference to be drawn is that rather than the efficient use of resources in the manufacturing process it is the efficient use of resources in the preceding process, namely the design process, that is regarded as important for analyzing any particular country's continuing industrial structure. Premised on the above, in our research we re-examine Japan's trade structure and industrial structure on the basis of industry theory based on a design theory in which the manufacture of goods (artifact) is considered from the viewpoint of creating design information, and "manufacturing" is taken as being the optimization of the flow of this to the market. Specifically, we will attempt to devise a framework for estimating industrial competitiveness from the compatibility of organizational capability (which, for historical reasons, is unevenly distributed in Japan) and the architecture of the relevant products.

Major Research Results


RIETI Discussion Papers