News & Highlights

  • OCTOBER 2017

HBS Professor Tsedal Neely's New Book on Rakuten's Language Practices

Tsedal Neely, associate professor in the Organizational Behavior unit, discusses corporate language strategies and their importance for globalization in her new book "The Language of Global Succes: How a Common Tongue Transforms Multinational Organizations." Neely gives an in-depth look at the Japanese company, Rakuten, and how the firm navigates its English lingua franca mandate over a period of five years.
  • APRIL 2017

Professor Ethan Bernstein in Tokyo

Assistant Professor of Business Administration and Berol Corporation Fellow, Ethan Bernstein, studies the impact of workplace transparency on productivity, with implications for leadership, collaboration, organization design, and new forms of organizing. In April, he traveled to Tokyo to present his recent research on "digitizing leadership" to a group of 30+ alumni from the region. He also connected his research to a new Immersive Field Course HBS is offering to EC students in the coming academic year - "Japan; Innovation through the Fusion of Digital and Analog," being co-taught by Bernstein and Professor Management Practice, Hirotaka Takeuchi.
  • March 2017

Japan IFC 2017: What 43 HBS Students Learned From Entrepreneurs in Tohoku

The Japan IFC (Immersive Field Course), an HBS MBA elective course taught by Professor Hirotaka Takeuchi, was completed with another huge success in January 2017. The program started as a response to the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 and has been offered for the six consecutive years. This year, the program was held under the theme of “Tohoku: The World’s Test Market for Authentic Entrepreneurship” from January 4 to January 13.

New Research on the Region

  • October 2018
  • Teaching Material

Supply Chain Management

This note on supply chain management provides background for the seven class supply chain module in the Technology & Operations Management required curriculum course taught at the Harvard Business School. This module includes four broad topics: sourcing and supply chain structure, supply chain coordination, coping with uncertain demand, and supply chain visibility.

  • August 2018
  • Teaching Material

Conducting a Kaizen

Kaizen, meaning change for the better in Japanese, is a set of activities directed at improving standardized work, equipment, and procedures for carrying out daily production or other business operations. It was poularized by Toyota as an integral part of its Toyota Production System. This note provides describes some of the underlying practices, and a simple outline for conducting a kaizen event.

  • July 2018
  • Case

LIXIL Group Corporation: Building a New Company in an Old Industry

By: Boris Groysberg and Akiko Kanno

In the spring of 2018, Kinya Seto, president and CEO of LIXIL Group Corporation, a major housing and building products and services company, called a meeting at the company’s head office in central Tokyo to discuss how to implement the new three-year strategic plan. LIXIL had been established in 2011 through a merger of five of Japan’s major companies across a broad spectrum of building materials and other housing-related businesses. The company had subsequently acquired established international brands such as American Standard and GROHE and had become a global company of over 70,000 employees operating in more than 150 countries. Its business lines included manufacturing and marketing construction materials and products for both commercial buildings and private houses, with subsidiary home-building and renovation franchises. The predecessor companies that formed LIXIL had each had a long history of business success, some dating back a hundred years. To accelerate the implementation of LIXIL’s global strategy, Seto and his senior management team had expressed ideas about creativity and innovation centered around differentiated products, services and business models. How could Seto position LIXIL for success? How much integration was needed at LIXIL? How could Seto build one LIXIL brand that would be recognized globally? Could design, new products, and a shift in business model from B2B to B2C be the drivers of growth? How should Seto execute LIXIL’s three-year plan? What is or are LIXIL’s source(s) of competitive advantage?

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Tokyo Staff

Nobuo Sato
Executive Director
Akiko Kanno
Assistant Director
Yukari Takizawa
Office Manager
Naoko Jinjo
Senior Researcher