Global Management and Innovation of Japanese Companies

Author Name SANBONMATSU Susumu  (Senior Fellow)
Creation Date/NO. August 2005 05-J-025
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When we look at the global management of Japanese companies, we can see that most companies - although there are a handful of exceptions making a steady progress - have yet to take full advantage of the changes occurring in the business environment and the business opportunities arising from the global transition to a knowledge-based economy.

In this study, I have conceptualized factors required for the successful global management of Japanese companies with respect to forms of management, organizational structure, management methods, globally dynamic competitiveness, organizational competence in global management, and so forth. Based on these factors, I have built a general framework for research on the global management of Japanese companies in order to examine and present a new and comprehensive picture of how the principles of corporate behavior in each sector relate to management performance in the market. I have applied this framework to a series of good practices for global management in Japan and overseas in which the validity of the framework has been checked and generally confirmed.

Recent years have witnessed the emergence, within sectors utilizing digital or modular technologies, of a transnational model of Japanese companies or even more superior foreign companies that have established meta-national competence; these companies have achieved successful management performance in their respective markets. The newly developed framework allows a systematic explanation of the mechanism behind such competence.

This paper presents the outcome of this research, identifying the strengths of Japanese companies' global management and the challenges they face.

This study is designed as a first step to more comprehensive research utilizing the new framework. I hope the findings of my study can serve as a reference for future studies.