National Academies Press: OpenBook
Suggested Citation:"NOTES AND REFERENCES." National Research Council. 1999. New Strategies for New Challenges: Corporate Innovation in the United States and Japan. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5823.
Page 42
Suggested Citation:"NOTES AND REFERENCES." National Research Council. 1999. New Strategies for New Challenges: Corporate Innovation in the United States and Japan. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5823.
Page 43

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NOTES AND REFERENCES 42 INNOVATION-MEDIATED PRODUCTION AND THE ROLE OF KNOWLEDGE One possible framework for comprehending the emerging patterns in the process of the globalization of innovation is the concept of innovation-mediated production, which highlights the increasing role of knowledge and ideas as a source of value across the production chain from the R&D laboratory to the factory floor.9 This model for post-mass production industry has five key aspects: (1) a shift in the main source of value creation from physical labor to intellectual capabilities, (2) the increasing importance of collective intelligence as opposed to individual knowledge, (3) accelerated technological innovation, (4) the increasing importance of continuous improvement at the point of production, and (5) the blurring of the lines between the R&D laboratory and the factory. The Toyota Production System, which is based on continuous improvement and the active participation by workers in problem-solving, is an example of the new paradigm. Others have advanced concepts of the knowledge-based economy and the knowledge-creating company to capture aspects of this transformation.10 This shift to innovation-mediated production and knowledge-based economic activity can be clearly seen in the globalizing patterns of Japanese companies.11 These shifts have important implications. On the one hand, on an international scale, there is the growing decentralization of R&D activity, referred to as global localization, to support global production operations and harness off-shore sources of knowledge and ideas. On the other hand, on a regional scale, knowledge is often concentrated in regional networks or complexes of human talent and expertise. NOTES AND REFERENCES 1 Nelson, op. cit. 2 Lynn, op. cit., observes that most writing on Japanese innovation by both Japanese and foreign scholars has been more concerned about what is good or bad about the system than with accurate descriptions. Also, evidence linking some attribute to a Japanese national innovation system is more often a result of deduction rather than of demonstrated causal relationships. Often such deductive reasoning leads to opposite conclusions depending on the evidence cited. He calls for developing a theoretical framework to understand Japan's system of innovation. 3 According to the more formal definition, demand articulation is "a dynamic interaction of technological activities that involves integrating potential demands into a product concept and decomposing this product concept into development agendas for its individual component technologies." Fumio Kodama, "National System of Demand Articulation and its International Implications," a presentation made at the bilateral meeting of the Task Force on Corporate Innovation, Makuhari, Japan, September 12-13, 1994. A fuller discussion of demand articulation may be found in Fumio Kodama, Emerging Patterns of Innovation: Sources of Japan's Technological Edge (Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Press, 1995). 4 For example, see Eric A. von Hippel, "Has a Customer Already Developed Your Next Product?" in Edward B. Roberts, ed., Generating Technological Innovation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987). 5 OECD, "Case Study of Electronics with Particular Reference to the Semiconductor Industry, Joint Working Paper of the Committee for Science and Technological Policy and the Industry Committee on Technology and the Structural Adaptation of Industry, Pads, 1977, pp. 133-163. 6 Fumio Kodama, Analyzing Japanese High Technologies (London: Pinter Publishers, 1991).

NOTES AND REFERENCES 43 7 Edward B. Roberts, "Benchmarking the Strategic Management Of Technology, Part 2," Research-Technology Management, March-April 1995, p. 19. In his recent book, Emerging Patterns of Innovation: Sources of Japan's Technological Edge (1995), Professor Kodama provides a detailed account of his theory of demand articulation. He addresses questions as to how it differs from technology-push vs. demand-pull analysis and how it can be used as an analytical tool. 8 This concept was described by Sei-ichi Takayanagi at the meeting of the U.S.-Japan Corporate Innovation Task Force (September 11-13, 1994) in a paper entitled Corporate Technology Stock Model: Determining the Corporate R&D Expenditure and Restructuring R&D Organization. This paper was based on Dr. Takayanagi's original publication "Research and Development Reviewed from the Viewpoint of Assets" (in Japanese) from the keynote speech of the Proceedings of the Symposium of the Japan Society for Science Policy and Research Management, June 4, 1993, pp. 3-6. Also, the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the Department of Commerce has created a test account which treats R&D as an investment. See Department of Commerce, "A Satellite Account for Research and Development," Survey of Current Business, November 1994, pp. 37-71. 9 Martin Kenney and Richard Florida, Beyond Mass Production: The Japanese System and Its Transfer to the United States (N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 1993) 10 Peter F. Drucker, op. cit. and Nonaka and Takeuchi, op. cit. 11 Richard Florida, "The Globalization of R&D: Results of a Survey of Foreign-Affiliated R&D Laboratories in the USA," Research Policy , v. 26, 1997, pp. 85-103.

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Innovation, "the process by which firms master and get into practice product designs and manufacturing processes that are new to them," is vital for companies wishing to remain competitive in today's rapidly changing high technology industries. American and Japanese firms are among the world's most technologically innovative and competitive. However, the changing dynamics of global competition are forcing them to rethink their technological innovation strategies. The choices they make will have great impact on their futures as companies as well as on the livelihoods of their employees and the communities in which they operate.

In order to understand the ways in which Japanese and American companies are changing their technological innovation strategies and practices, the Committee on Japan of the National Research Council and the Committee on Advanced Technology and the International Environment (Committee 149) of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) organized a bilateral task force composed of leading representatives from industry and academia to assess developments in corporate innovation strategies and report on their findings. Through a workshop discussion of the issues and subsequent interaction, the task force explored the institutional division of innovation in both countries: the structure and performance of technology-based industries, the role of the government in the support of science and technology, and the role of universities in the science and technology system. The task force was particularly interested in exploring the points on which the two systems are converging,-i.e., becoming more similar in strategy and practice-and where they continue to be distinct and different.

Although a comprehensive study of these trends in U.S. and Japanese innovation was not easily feasible, the task force was able to develop several conclusions based on its workshop discussion and follow-up interactions that were substantial in time and content. This report identifies a set of issues whose further elucidation should be helpful in guiding public policy in both nations. These issues include the role of external sourcing of innovation, transnational activity and globalization, the organization and performance of R&D, and the role of consortia, joint ventures and other joint activities. A call for greater international efforts to collect and analyze data on these important trends is the central recommendation of the task force.

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