Case | HBS Case Collection | March 1991 (Revised July 1993)

Kyocera Corp.

by John P. Kotter


Examines the three factors critical to this company's remarkable success in the high tech field. The first factor is the founder, Dr. Inamori's powerful leadership. The second is the strong corporate culture or philosophy of the firm. The third element in Kyocera's success is the company's management systems, i.e. the "amoeba" system of profit centers. This system is bound together by an interactive level of meetings and the strong philosophy of the company which emphasizes both creativity and working toward a higher goal for the good of the company. This philosophy of a higher common goal prevents infighting amongst profit centers and preserves a unity of purpose, while encouraging a great deal of individual autonomy and creativity through the management system. This system in conjunction with the philosophy also promotes multiple levels of leadership and individual initiative throughout the firm. Dr. Inamori's leadership communicates this philosophy to the employees.

Keywords: Customer Relationship Management; Hardware; Leadership Style; Management Systems; Management Style; Organizational Culture; Practice; Profit; Planning; Technology Industry; Electronics Industry;


Kotter, John P. "Kyocera Corp." Harvard Business School Case 491-078, March 1991. (Revised July 1993.)