Japan's Recovery Lies through China: Knowledge@Wharton

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Interesting set of articles in the latest Knowledge@Wharton. I was struck by this one: "One Road to Japan's Recovery Lies through China."

Wharton management professor John Paul MacDuffie outlines a Japanese theory that describes two major approaches to product architecture: modular and integral. An example of the modular approach to producing a personal computer would have each component designed and manufactured separately in plants around the world. "The integral approach is when all the individual pieces are designed together with [a high degree] of communication and simultaneous engineering." He says Japan appears to excel at the more integrated approach, while the United States is more modular.

Following this theory, Japan should concentrate on products that benefit most from an integral approach, including automobiles. "Another example is video games," says MacDuffie. "Unlike other kinds of software, the development of the story, the visuals and the music all have to be done in an integral fashion to end up with a game where everything works and the experience is also satisfying."

Another professor - Adrian Tschoegl - concludes that "pretty soon, in the next two generations, most of the good ideas will come out of China and India."

Read the article here >>

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This page contains a single entry by Christian Sarkar published on December 19, 2005 7:50 PM.

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