Learning From Japan: A Commentary

Makino, Shige; Roehl, Tom
November 2010
Academy of Management Perspectives;Nov2010, Vol. 24 Issue 4, p38
Academic Journal
Academic interest in non-Western firm strategy and organizational structure has tended to focus on especially successful countries, and on the firms that lead that success. Thus, published research in the 1980s focused on the "Japanese success story" and the auto industry, while currently research on China is in vogue. This research, however, tends to overemphasize country-specific contexts as the primary source of success, paying less attention to the effects of organizational factors that vary among firms within the same country context. This approach also deemphasizes the value of examining any combination of Western and non-Western approaches, a key element in the paper on the Acer strategy by Chen and Miller in this issue. Numagami, Karube, and Kato's paper recognizes the importance of looking at the variations in how different firms respond to matured business environments and of the evolution of country business cultures as a source of academic insights.


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