Case | HBS Case Collection | February 1996 (Revised February 2008)

Toshiba: Ome Works

by H. Kent Bowen, Janice H. Hammond, Sylvie Ryckebusch and Hiroshi Uchikoga


In 1995, Toshiba was the market leader in portable computer sales worldwide. This case describes the assembly of portable notebook computers in Toshiba's Ome factory in Ome, Japan, providing insights into some of the reasons for Toshiba's success. In addition to describing production techniques such as dynamic line balancing, this case probes the nature of the Japanese workforce and the unique problems faced by Japanese businesses.

Keywords: Factories, Labs, and Plants; Employees; Job Design and Levels; Production; Hardware; Japan;


Bowen, H. Kent, Janice H. Hammond, Sylvie Ryckebusch, and Hiroshi Uchikoga. "Toshiba: Ome Works." Harvard Business School Case 696-059, February 1996. (Revised February 2008.)