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Failing to Change: The Plight of the Japanese Computer

Japanese companies are still suffering from low earnings and profits, legacies of the collapsed "bubble economy" of the late 1980s. Among the sufferers are the biggest electronics firms in the country: Fujitsu, Hitachi, Mitsubishi Electric, NEC, and Toshiba. Some industry observers believe that the...

Leaders' Perspectives on Business Ethics: An Interim

We are engaged in a series of conversations with chief executives of large international companies about the ways they define, promulgate, and implement standards of ethical behavior in their firms. This progress statement is intended in part to prompt responses from Prism readers. We hope that...

Emerging Technologies: A Novel Approach to Envisioning

Just beyond the typical business time horizon are significant new technologies that will change our lives. These emerging technologies, not yet fully realized and still outside the arena of competition, will create enormous opportunities – and huge threats. Each of these technologies tends to be 10...

Doing More With Less: Improving Environmental Management

In recent years many companies have made impressive gains in strengthening their environmental, health, and safety (EHS) management. But they have also seen their EHS costs increase dramatically – to as much as 4 percent of sales and even more. As a result, EHS budgets have joined other once–sacred...

Redesigning the Multinational to Compete Across Europe

One of the frustrations for European consumers is that they pay more than their U.S. counterparts across a whole range of goods and services. A computer that sells for $1,000 in New York may cost £1,000 in the United Kingdom. Compact discs, $12 or less in the United States, typically cost £12 or...

A Prism Primer Protecting Intellectual Property

Recent news items underscore the effective use of intellectual property to protect and enhance an organisation's competitive position. Despite the critical importance of intellectual property, few companies really understand what it is, how various laws and regulations work to protect it, what...

An Eye on Disclosure: The EC's Eco-Management and

"... Whereas the provision of information to the public, by companies, on the environmental aspects of their activities is an essential element of good environmental management and a response to the growing interest of the public in information on this subject..."Official Journal of the European...

Integrated Design and Manufacturing in Japan

In 1991 I spent four months in Japan visiting companies to study how they use computers in the design of their products. My goals were to determine the outlines of the product development process; to find out what computer tools are in use and where they come from; to learn how the needs of...

The Role of Government in Fostering Innovation

The powerful role traditionally played by governments in fostering private-sector innovation is now expanding, and savvy companies are taking full advantage of a wide range of governmental support, both traditional and new.

Viewpoint Discontinuous Improvement: Five Catapulting Ideas

National and regional economies, like individual enterprises, cannot maintain positions of leadership by conducting business as usual. Nor can they, once they've slipped, regain leadership by imitating the current leader. Imitators seldom if ever catch up to those they imitate. While they are busy...