Emerging Patterns of Innovation: Sources of Japan's Technological Edge

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Harvard Business School Press, 1995 - Business & Economics - 297 pages
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Kodama uses the concept of a techno-paradigm shift to express the radical changes in the way technology has been and continues to be developed, applied, and commercialized over time. In analyzing data gathered over ten years of intensive research and study of Japanese firms, he distinguishes six dimensions along which the shift is occurring: manufacturing, business diversification, R&D competition, product development, innovation pattern, and societal diffusion of technology. He illuminates his discussion of each dimension with a profile of specific technologies and the companies that have advanced them, including consumer electronics (Sony and Toshiba), fiber optic cables (Sumitomo Electric), computers and communications equipment (NEC), machine tools (Fanuc), and automobile parts (Honda, Toyota, and Nissan). The concepts presented in Emerging Patterns of Innovation not only have implications for the competitive strategies of non-Japanese firms and the economic policies of their corresponding nations, but could also help promote important international alliances in technological development at both the business and the national levels. In particular, Kodama describes his vision of option sharing, through which it is possible to resolve the tensions between international cooperation and national autonomy as well as to promote a nonprotectionist, "plus-sum game" in technological innovation that would benefit the world as a whole.

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