Top critical review
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A good insight but could have contributed more
on 21 May 1999
The author has been successful in giving readers an insight into what makes the Japanese tick from a cultural, economic and industrial perspective. The major shortfall however, is that book seems to suggest that the Japanese model is the benchmark for many western businesses to emulate.
My feeling is that the book could have contributed more by hypothesising a model that embeds the strengths of both Japanese and Western models to achieve optimum outcomes. After all, continous improvement strategies that many Japanese businesses embrace are hardly drivers for major technological break-throughs. Conversely, many US-based companies are excellent at large-scale investment in major R & D programs (and subsequent patenting) that secure long-term competitive advantage.