The Japanese Approach to Innovation: Research for D&M

It is conventional wisdom that Western companies are better at inventing and developing new technologies than at producing and commercializing them, while Japanese companies are particularly skillful at commercializing technology. Convincing arguments have been made for a continuous exchange of knowledge between Design and Manufacturing as a way to improve the entire product development process – from conception to commercialization. This article, based on extensive study and interviews in Japan, looks at actual mechanisms used by two companies – Canon and Sony – to effectively bridge the traditional distance between these two functions.

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