Japanese corporate product development strategies are examined. Product development Japanese style is the dynamic and continuous process of adaptation to change in the environment. A background to the methods currently used, including the strategic role played by top management, self‐organizing project teams, overlapping development phases and multi‐learning, is provided. Strengths and weaknesses of Japanese industrial product development practices are related to the Japanese cultural heritage and the rationale for such practices explained in terms of the Japanese culture. Comments on future implications are made.
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