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Information technology in Japan: are there lessons for the west?

Author: Bensaou, Ben ; Earl, MichaelINSEAD Area: Asian Business and Comparative Management ; Technology and Operations Management Series: Working Paper ; 96/88/SM/ABA Publisher: Fontainebleau : INSEAD, 1996.Language: EnglishDescription: 29 p.Type of document: INSEAD Working Paper Online Access: Click here Abstract: There is an apparent paradox about the adoption and use of Information Technology in Japanese corporations. Visit factories and they are often hi-tech; visit most offices and the business beyond the factory and they are lo-tech. This paper seeks to explain the contrast and claims that it makes sense -both culturally and competitively. The authors also describe hidden strengths in the way Japanese companies manage IT. The second half of the paper suggests that much is about to change. Organizational computing in Japan may well take off -and a new level of competitiveness will result. There are lessons to be learnt in the West, particularly about the match of IT and culture.
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There is an apparent paradox about the adoption and use of Information Technology in Japanese corporations. Visit factories and they are often hi-tech; visit most offices and the business beyond the factory and they are lo-tech. This paper seeks to explain the contrast and claims that it makes sense -both culturally and competitively. The authors also describe hidden strengths in the way Japanese companies manage IT. The second half of the paper suggests that much is about to change. Organizational computing in Japan may well take off -and a new level of competitiveness will result. There are lessons to be learnt in the West, particularly about the match of IT and culture.

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