How has Buddhism influenced Japanese business practice?

Lean Management and Kaizen in Japan

Kaizen, Lean Management and Digitization pp 15-25 | Cite as

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In search of the reasons for the successes of Toyota and other Japanese companies, the managers of the European and American automakers in the 1970s assumed that the successes were based on unfair trade advantages due to the otherness of the Japanese economy and society. With the publication of the study “The Machine that Changed the World” by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the question seemed finally solved. Lean management and lean production processes were responsible for an innovative, lean and successful value creation model, which would replace the model of mass production worldwide, just as mass production had once been able to displace artisanal production with the exception of a few relics. Terms such as Kanban, Kaizen or Poka Yoke, which stood for a new type of production and work organization, were suddenly on everyone's lips and were viewed by top managers in the automotive industry as a new model of excellence, while there was considerable resistance in the workforce excited. In not a few representations, however, it was viewed as a mere question of time before the toyotist production model would have replaced Ford's Taylorist production model (Elis 2009).

Lean is a term that is easy to memorize, but a complicated concept that is not immediately apparent.

Takahiro Fujimoto (1955-present)

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IUBH Internationale HochschuleBerlinGermany