Hirotaka Takeuchi

Professor of Management Practice

Hirotaka Takeuchi is a Professor in the Strategy Unit at Harvard Business School, where he currently teaches three second-year elective courses: Knowledge-based Strategy, Japan IXP, and Microeconomics of Competitiveness (which he co-teaches with University Professor Michael Porter). He received a BA from International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan and an MBA and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.  Professor Takeuchi's first faculty position at Harvard was in the Marketing Unit from 1976 to 1983 as an Assistant Professor and his second as a Visiting Professor teaching the Advanced Management Program in 1995-1996.  Starting in 1983, he taught at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo and served as the Founding Dean of its business school, Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy, from 1998 to 2010.  Prior to his academic career, he worked at McCann-Erickson in Tokyo and San Francisco and at McKinsey & Company in Tokyo.

Professor Takeuchi's research has focused on the knowledge creation process within organizations, the competitiveness of Japanese firms in global industries, and the link between strategy and innovation.  He is the author or editor of 17 books, including The Knowledge-Creating Company: How Japanese Companies Create the Dynamics of Innovation co-authored with Ikujiro Nonaka (which won the 1995 Best New Book of the Year Award in the business and management category by the Association of American Publishers), Can Japan Compete? co-authored with Michael Porter, and Extreme Toyota: Radical Contradictions That Drive Success at the World's Best Manufacturer co-authored with Hitotsubashi professors Emi Osono and Norihiko Shimizu (which won the Best 30 Business Books by Soundview Executive Book Summaries in 2008).  His most recent Harvard Business Review article is The Wise Leader (May 2011) with Ikujiro Nonaka.

Professor Takeuchi serves as a member of the board of directors of Integral Corporation, and has served on the board of ORIX Corporation and Trend Micro Inc., all based in Japan. He is also a director of several non-profit organizations, including Japan Society of Boston, Nonaka Institute of Knowledge, and Ark Hills Club.  He is and has been a member of the advisory board of Fast Retailing, All Nippon Airways, NTT DoCoMo, Mitsui & Co., Yoshimoto Kogyo, World Economic Forum, Russell Reynolds, Japan Association of Corporate Directors, Japan Sports Association, among others.  He has been a member of a number of committees and councils formed by government agencies in Japan, including the Cabinet Office; Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and also a member of the editorial board of Japan Marketing Journal, Journal of Knowledge Management, and Hitotsubashi Business Review.

Takeuchi and his wife Nobu have two children and live in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

  1. Fast Retailing

    by Hirotaka Takeuchi

    I am conducting research on Fast Retailing, which is  a holding company in Japan best know for its UNIQLO and THEORY brands.  The company is going global in a big way and wants to be the No. 1 apparel company in the world, surpassing H&M, Zara, and GAP by 2020.  Right now, only 10% of its sales come from outside of Japan but the plan is to have 80% of its sales come from outside of Japan, with the U.S. and China being the largest growth market for UNIQLO. It created FRMIC (FR Management and Innovaiton Center) to develop 200 global managers from around the world.

  2. Toyota

    by Hirotaka Takeuchi

    I have started a research project with Toyota on "What went wrong with Toyota and how should Toyota change?" It is a sequel to the six-year research we conducted in writing a book I co-authored two years ago - "Extreme Toyota: The Contradictions That Drive the World's Best Manufacturer." This time, we have the go-ahead from President Akio Toyoda himself.

  3. Practical Wisdom

    by Hirotaka Takeuchi

    I am writing a book with Ikujiro Nonaka that will build on "The Wise Leader" article we published in the May 2011 issue of Harvard Business Review.  It will be a sequel to "The Knowledge - Creating Company" book we wrote in 1995.  We will put more emphasis in our new book on practical wisdom, or what Aristotle called phronesis: experiential knowledge that enables people to make ethically sound judgment.