Summary of Japan's Business Renaissance

How the World's Greatest Economy Revived, Renewed, and Reinvented Itself

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Japan's Business Renaissance book summary
Japanese firms base their new incarnations on the old principles of bushido. How to prosper by thinking like a samurai.


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Do you remember the 1980s cascade of management tomes extolling the ancient principles of Japanese management? Welcome back. At that time, Japanese corporations were asserting themselves globally and seemed invincible in almost every industry. Then, everyone wanted to learn from Japan (to the profit of many authors and consultants). However, the collapse of the Japanese stock market in 1989 precipitated a new way of thinking about Japan. Instead of being a global exemplar, Japan became a global disgrace as news emerged of financial corruption, of inflexible bureaucracy, of agency risk gone amok, of self-serving and incestuous dealings between banks and companies, and, above all, of the insane overvaluation of Japanese stocks and real estate. Now, 15 years after the collapse, in the wake of a few years of apparent Japanese recovery, though not a rebound to 1980s levels, authors Mark Fuller and John C. Beck dust off the myth of ancient Japanese magic. They offer a skillfully retailored hand-me-down of a familiar, somewhat imperial suit. The emperor may still lack a full wardrobe, but not everything is old. The book includes some novel findings from recent attitudinal surveys of Japanese managers, and observations from the handful of Japanese companies that have managed a turnaround. suggests this as an interesting ride on the swinging pendulum of the Japanese economy, with a look at what makes it tick.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Japan has regenerated its business fortunes
  • What lessons venerable Japanese principles illuminate about management today


Japan’s Remarkable History of Rebirth
Japan has reinvented itself numerous times. Perhaps no country or culture has proven as deft at the miracle of rebirth. Japan’s example holds profound lessons for corporations today, primarily that renewal must be the business of every organization...
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About the Authors

Mark Fuller is co-founder, chairman and CEO of a strategy consultancy firm. John C. Beck is the co-author of The Attention Economy and Got Game, president of a management consulting firm and former director of international research for an international consultancy.

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