The Knowledge-Creating Company: How Japanese Companies Create the Dynamics of Innovation

This book addresses the generation-old question of why the Japanese are so successful in business. The authors, professors of management at Hitosubashi University, contend that Japanese firms are successful because they are innovative, that is, because they create new knowledge and use it to produce successful products and technologies. They identify two types of organizational knowledge: explicit knowledge, contained in procedures and manuals, and tacit knowledge, learned only by experience. U.S. managers tend to focus on explicit knowledge and stress approaches such as benchmarking, while the Japanese focus on tacit knowledge. Using corporate examples such as Honda, NEC, Nissan, 3M, and GE, the authors provide insights that reveal how to blend the best of both worlds. This scholarly volume is highly recommended not only for academics (especially in organizational theory) but also for readers doing business in and with Japan. – Joseph W. Leonard, Miami Univ., Oxford, Ohio

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