Download Knowledge Works: Managing Intellectual Capital at Toshiba by W. Mark Fruin PDF

By W. Mark Fruin

This e-book describes why, for the earlier twenty-five years, jap productiveness has been growing to be extra swiftly than productiveness within the U.S. not like different books almost about the japanese luck in production, it seems at what truly occurs in factories. the writer brings his event of operating on the Yanagicho Works of the Toshiba company, in Kawasaki urban. Like such a lot of eastern factories, this one is very efficient, effective, and versatile. whereas the manufacturing facility is usual depending on the skin, its employees are whatever yet traditional as they always try to enhance the way in which they paintings and the standard of the goods they produce. the major to this can be the continual construction and alertness of data during the manufacturing facility, from employees at the store ground, to investigate and improvement engineers, to most sensible administration. Fruin explains how eastern tradition and faith organize employees for his or her function during this means of growing and disseminating wisdom.

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Additional resources for Knowledge Works: Managing Intellectual Capital at Toshiba (Japan Business and Economics Series)

Sample text

TWO Architectures for Innovation and Renewal Globally, Knowledge Works—multifunction, multiproduct, and multifocal manufacturing sites—represent best practice for the generation and application of knowledge as product. They acquire, create, accumulate, and transform knowledge into new and improved products, manufacturing and assembly processes more effectively and faster than any other model of industrial production. The quality, reliability, and speed with which these tasks are accomplished bestow obvious competitive advantages on Toshiba.

Obviously, there are conversion costs for transforming traditional factors of production, but the costs of converting knowledge back into more general information are more prohibitive. Further, unlike the other factors of production, the value of useful knowledge is often quite perishable; alternative uses are generally few and far between. Old knowledge, in other words, loses its value very quickly. In effect, the utility of knowledge is directly proportional to its cost, and cost has little relationship with value.

As aggregate demand soared and manufacturing boomed along, products multiplied and became increasingly differentiated. By the 1970s, families of related products, some destined for the home market and some not, blanketed nearly every conceivable market niche and product segment. 4 By the 1970s and '80s, research and development activities became a key means by which firms distanced themselves from rivals; firms rushed to establish central R & D labs and to deepen product design, development, and engineering activities.

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