This case study examines the evolution of R&D knowledge management at Japan’s business equipment maker Fuji Xerox, from the sashimi system, a Japanese origin of concurrent engineering, to its successor zen‐in system, which is composed mainly of a real high‐tech discussion room equipped with databases that provide technical information and two 70‐inch displays that shows virtual but real‐size, three‐dimensional graphic models. We found that Fuji Xerox has chosen the “hybridization strategy” that mixes human‐based and IT‐based knowledge‐sharing techniques. We also argue that concurrent engineering provides not only efficiency benefits but also positive effects on group and organizational creativity. Finally we present a conceptual framework of “how concurrent engineering works”, i.e. uncertainty and diversity necessitate concurrency which produces such benefits as efficiency and creativity, and which in turn realizes product integrity.
Umemoto, K., Endo, A. and Machado, M. (2004), "From
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited