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    Professor: Nancy R. Buchan, Ph.D.

    Tel. (803) 777-1781

    E-mail: Classes: January 13, 15, 20, 22, 27 (Tues/Thurs: 9:0011:45am) Room 534 Office Hours: 1-2 pm. on class days and by appointment



    Japan - the world's second largest economy and home to many of the world's leading companies - is now

    growing again after a decade and a half of stagnation, thanks in part to Chinese demand for Japanese

    capital goods but now increasingly to renewed domestic demand. Japan remains America’s second

    largest trading partner after Canada, and is a permanent and important part of the global economic



    The objectives of this course are to explore the foundations of the “Japanese Miracle” and to build a

    historical understanding of the Japanese economy leading up to its current state. We will study the

    unique culture of Japan to develop an awareness of how it influences all aspects of Japanese society and

    business. We will study Japanese management systems, particularly as they transition and

    expand/contract during this period of globalization. We will examine the four Ps of Japanese marketing

    and Japanese consumers and how they also have changed over time. Finally, we will develop a deep

    appreciation of current political, economic, social and cultural issues in Japan and how they influence the

    business environment.

Method of Instruction

    The class will be taught in a seminar format and will employ a variety of teaching methods including

    lectures, discussions, dvds, case analyses, in-class exercises, current events, and student research and

    presentations. The typical class day (two sessions) will have the following schedule: (9-10:15); break; and (10:30-11:45).

Course Materials

    1. Johnson, Chalmers A. (1982) MITI and the Japanese Miracle: The Growth of Industrial Policy,


    2. Benedict, Ruth (1989) The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture

    (Both of these books are classics. If you wish, you can obtain inexpensive used copies of both of

    them on Amazon. I am not at all fussy about the edition you read.)


    3. We will use the following Harvard cases and article:

     Case: Japan: Deficits, Demography, and Deflation 9-706-004

     HBR Article: The Silent Language in Overseas Business 60308

     Case: Ina Food Industry HKU607

    Click on the link below to order the course materials.

    The course ID# is c22169. If you have not registered with Harvard Business Online, you will be

    required to do so. This URL will provide you with a list of required materials for use in this course.

    For technical assistance, please view the Quick Tips section or contact Harvard Business School

    Publishing at 1-800-810-8858 or 617-783-7700. They are open 8am-6pm Eastern Standard Time.

    They can also be reached at

    Additional readings will be posted on Blackboard/Course Documents, or distributed in 4.

    class as stated in the syllabus.

Course Requirements and Grading

A. Class participation (including discussion notes) 40%

    B. Current events 10%

    C. Case Analysis 20%

    D. Partner projects 30%

    A. Class participation will be evaluated based on the quantity and the quality of an individual’s

    contribution to in-class discussions and by their ability to lead in-class discussion. One’s ability to

    lead in-class discussion will be judged, in part, by their preparedness for class as evidenced by their

    discussion notes which are handed in at the beginning of each class.

    i. The length of notes and questions to be covered in the discussion notes are stated in the

    course schedule for each day.

    ii. Students may write their notes in any format they wish, as long as they do not exceed the

    maximum length prescribed for the notes for that topic.

    iii. The purpose of the discussion notes are to enhance the student’s knowledge of the topic and

    to increase their ability to teach or lead discussion of the topic, if called upon to do so.

    Unexcused absences will affect your participation grade.

    B. Current Events. Each class day (except the first class period), students should be prepared to present

    to the class a very short report (2-3 minutes) concerning a relevant current event in Japan. 15

    minutes of each class day will be devoted to these reports.

    i. To help you in this task, you will find the following English-language websites for the main

    Japanese newspapers helpful:


    Also, I have found The Economist country briefings to be very useful in this regard as well in

    providing more general information,

    C. Case Analysis. A hard copies of your case analysis is due at the beginning of the class period during

    which the case will be presented. Absolutely no late cases will be accepted for any reason. Your

    write-up will be graded on the quality of your analysis and of your recommendations. Questions to

    be considered when writing up each case are given in this syllabus. Formatting requirements: 3 pages maximum, double spaced, 12 point font, 1 inch margins all around.

    I have attached a sheet containing more specific directions for how to write a case analysis to the

    back of this syllabus.

    D. Partner projects. Japan is in a time of incredible transition. This transition is carrying with it

    particular and painful societal costs (and maybe even benefits?). Thus, there are a wide range of

    issues that should be of potential interest to students who plan on interacting with Japan in the

    coming years including economic, trade and investment, financial, social, political and cultural issues.

    Self-selected pairs (2 students) will research topics of their choosing that have implications for doing

    business in Japan and for broader Japanese society as a whole. The objective of the projects is to

    expose students to a variety of issues related to the Japanese business environment and to create

    opportunities for collective learning beyond the assigned class content.

    Groups will be responsible for writing a paper (max 10 pages, double-spaced pages; 12-point font)

    and presenting it in class for a max. of 20 minutes. Each group should provide a 1-page summary of

    their paper to be copied and distributed to the entire class (if you need help in making copies, e-mail

    the summary to me at least 24 hours before the presentation).

    th we’ll be watching a DVD in class that will discuss some of these issues, On Tuesday, January 13

    and will perhaps spur thoughts of more issues that you might want to explore. The particular topic

    selected by each pair has to be approved by the instructor before the end of classes on January 15th.



    Tuesday, January 13th

The (Myth of the) Japanese Miracle

    ? Johnson, Chalmers (1982) MITI and the Japanese Miracle, pp. 1-115, 198-end.

    Read introduction chapter carefully and skim the rest.

    ? Krugman, Paul "The Myth of Asia's Miracle," Foreign Affairs (November/December 1994),

    pp. 62-79. ( posted on BB)

    Discussion Notes (1-pg maximum):

    1. Discuss the main foundations, according to Johnson, of the “Japanese Miracle”.

    2. Do you agree with Krugman that the “Miracle” is a “myth”?

Sorting Out Japan’s Financial Crisis

    ? HBS Case: Japan: Deficits, Demography, and Deflation 9-706-004

    ? "The Sun Also Rises," The Economist, Survey of Japan (October 8, 2005). (posted on BB)

    Discussion Notes (2-pgs maximum):

    1. What caused the bubble economy? Why did it collapse, and what were the economic


    2. Why did neither monetary nor fiscal remedies work?

    3. What’s your assessment of Japan’s pension reform, and its further need for reform of

    medical care?

    4. Do you think that Japan has finally adjusted, and is about to grow? What do you think

    will be the impact of the current financial crisis?

    DVD: Tokyo: A Global City

    After viewing this dvd we’ll discuss topics for your partner projects.


    Thursday, January 15th

Japanese Culture

    ? Benedict, Ruth (1989) The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture,

    (This book is likely viewed as the most authoritative anthropological work ever written about

    Japanese culture. You do not need to read it word for word but do try to glean from it as

    much as you can.)


    Discussion Notes (2-pgs maximum):

    1. Discuss the main characteristics of Japanese culture.

    2. In what ways do you believe these characteristics influence business and business


Japanese Business Communication and Negotiation Behavior

    ? HBR article - Hall, Edward “The Silent Language in Overseas Business” - 60308

    ? Hall, Edward “Key Concepts: Underlying Structures of Culture” (chapter will be distributed

    in class)

    Discussion Notes (1-pg maximum):

    1. Characterize the main elements of Hall’s theory of high and low context cultures.


Tuesday, January 20th

Japanese Management

    DVD: Toyota’s Drive to the Top

    ? HBR Case Ina Food Industry HKU607

    Discussion Notes (2-pgs maximum):

    1. Characterize the main elements of Tsukakoshi’s management philosophy.

    2. In what ways is Tsukakoshi’s philosophy “typically” Japanese?

    3. In what ways is his philosophy uniquely his own?

    4. Assess the ease or difficulty of transferring this management style or philosophy should the

    company ever transfer ownership.

    We will be viewing a dvd regarding Toyota’s management prior to discussing this case and will

    compare and contrast the two management styles. We will also discuss the implications of

    company growth and the intricacies of transferring management philosophy.


Thursday, January 22nd

Japanese Marketing

     st day of class) ? Assigned Case: Nippon Vicks K.K. (Will be distributed 1

    Case Analysis Questions (Please prepare responses on 3-pgs maximum, double-spaced, 12

    pt, Times Roman font, 1” margins):


    1. Analyze Clearasil’s performance to date (unit volume, sales volume, market share, etc.).

    What is your assessment of the present situation?

    2. What can we learn from observing existing market trends, customer habits, and overall

    market dynamics in the skin care segment?

    3. How has the competitive situation changed since the introduction of Clearasil?

    4. In your opinion, what were the cause(s) of Clearasil’s decline? To what extent was

    advertising the cause, or were there other factors that contributed to the product’s decline?

    5. What do you think of the line’s extension into the soap/wash segment of the skin care


    6. What opinions exist to re-launch the Clearasil business in Japan? What specific actions

    would you recommend (advertising, production line, distribution, etc.)?

    Assorted Articles Regarding Marketing in Japan (will be distributed in class)

    ? “Japanese Fret that Quality is in Decline” ? “As Japan Deregulates, Quality of Life Laments” ? “Coke: I’d Like to Buy the World….”

    ? “Japan’s Snow Brand Milk Maker Says Sorry…” ? “Japanese consumers: From homogeneity to diversity” ? “Life Values of Japanese”

Because you have the Nippon Vicks case due today there is no written assignment for these

    readings, however you are expected to have read them and be able to discuss them. We’ll be

    having a free flowing discussion regarding various aspects of marketing in Japan.


     thTuesday, January 27

    Current Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Issues in Japan

     Student Power Point Presentations 20 minutes maximum




Putting your thoughts to paper will help you to organize you ideas in a more meaningful way. Therefore, to add to

    the quality of participation in the class as well as to your own learning of the issues covered, each student is asked

    to submit 2 case write-ups during the semester. Write-ups are due at the beginning of class on the day the subject

    case is discussed. You may want to keep a copy for yourself for class discussion purposes.

Case Analysis: Follow the case analysis method presented in class before you attempt to write up a formal

    analysis. This method will help you to tease out all the relevant facts in the case.

    Content: Written analysis of cases should follow a fairly standard format:

    1. The first paragraph should briefly state the problem(s) or central issue(s).

    2. Address the case questions as given in the syllabus. In answering these questions you will be

    providing support for your recommendation.

    3. Present your recommendation.

    You may use either inductive or deductive reasoning when writing up your analysis. That is, a) You can

    present your recommendation immediately following the problem statement, and then use the rest of your

    case to support your recommendation. Or b) you may present the problem statement, then build an argument

    for one strategy or the other and then end with what you finally recommend.

    When addressing the case questions and building support for your recommended strategy, you should

    consider the following points:

    - Have you considered some alternative options?

    - Why are you recommending the option you have chosen?

    - Are you able to support your recommendation with relevant case facts and to-the-point quantitative

    analysis explaining the concepts you used in the analysis?

    - How will the recommended strategy be implemented?

     - Are there any risks involved in your strategy (what can go wrong?) and, if possible, why does your plan

    minimizes these problems?

    Assume that I have read the case as well. Your job is to synthesize the facts in order to provide insight it is

    not simply to restate what is written in the case.

Format Rules:

    1. Limit your discussion to 3 pages, double-spaced, excluding exhibits.

    2. Use 12-point font and 1 inch margins (all around).


    Use appendices to provide more detail to the text in your write-up. Useful appendices may include:

    - A table of pros and cons of various strategic options. (The main elements of the table would be

    summarized in the text, but the table would provide elaboration on those elements).

    - A product positioning map

    - A financial analysis (e.g. a breakeven analysis, etc.)

    - An illustration of the segmentation structure of the market

Appendices that are not helpful are the following:

    - Photocopies of tables or data from the cases

    - Full paragraphs and pages of text. The appendices are to be in table form to provide the most

    efficient means of conveying a lot of information.


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