SOAS University of London

Japan Research Centre

The Business Reinvention of Japan: What has changed since we last looked

The Business Reinvention of Japan
Prof Ulrike Schaede (University of California San Diego)

Date: 28 October 2020Time: 6:00 PM

Finishes: 28 October 2020Time: 8:00 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Webinar


Japan’s business organization was a hot topic in the 1980s and 1990s. Since then, Japan has been overshadowed by China, and whatever we hear about Japan tends to be either negative or quirky. But contrary to the image that Japan has “lost it”, Japan is still the world’s third largest economy, and Japanese input materials and components critically anchor many global supply chains. The background plot is that leading Japanese companies have relinquished many consumer end product markets and moved upstream, to make the deep-technology inputs needed to make those products. This is also opening new important avenues for Japan in the digital transformation, from robotics to edge computing and AI applications. All this has required a strategic repositioning and a change in business culture. Ulrike Schaede will explain how Japan’s leading manufacturing companies are moving into these new territories, and how they are managing the requisite corporate culture change.

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The Business Reinvention of Japan: What has changed since we last looked

Ulrike Schaede

Speaker Biography 

Ulrike Schaede is Professor of Japanese Business at the University of California, San Diego, School of Global Policy and Strategy. She is the Director of JFIT (Japan Forum for Innovation and Technology) where she organizes a weekly “Japan Zoominar” on current issues on Japan. Schaede works on Japan’s changing corporate strategies, including business culture, change management, employment practices, the rise of private equity, corporate governance, and manufacturing and innovation under the digital transformation. She has written extensively on Japanese business organization, and is the author of The Business Reinvention of Japan: How to Make Sense of the New Japan (Stanford University Press, 2020) as well as Choose and Focus: Japanese Business Strategies for the 21st Century (Cornell UP, 2008). She holds a PhD in Japan Studies and Economics from Marburg University, Germany, and has been invited to visiting professor and scholar positions at UC Berkeley, Harvard Business School, Stanford University in the U.S., as well as Hitotsubashi University and the research institutes of The Bank of Japan, various Ministries, and the Development Bank of Japan. All told, Schaede has spent over nine years of research in Tokyo and is an advisor to two startup incubators in Japan. For more information, please see The Japanologist website by Ulrike Schaede.


If you would like to attend the event please register. The link to the webinar will be emailed to the registered attendee closer to the event date. Online registration

Organiser: SOAS Japan Research Centre, Japan Economy Network, SOAS Department of Economics

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