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Article

Kazuhito Isomura and Pei-Yuh Huang

The purpose of this paper is to clarify how to develop a global brand through examining the case of MUJI.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to clarify how to develop a global brand through examining the case of MUJI.

Design/methodology/approach

To build a global brand, a company is required to develop a repeatable business model that turns the source of differentiation into activity systems. So, from this hypothesis, the paper examines how the MUJI strategy worked and failed in the process of rapid growth.

Findings

MUJI succeeded in differentiation by proposing attractive value, developing products embodying its value and establishing its brand image through its stores. However, its rapid growth seriously damaged and diluted its brand image; and MUJI did not build a rational management system to respond to its expansion; consequently, MUJI’s business performance deteriorated. To revitalize its brand, MUJI reconstructed its product and store development and introduced a low-cost operating system through learning from another company.

Practical implications

The paper provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world’s leading organizations.

Originality/value

The case study of MUJI suggests that building a global brand is required to integrate its value communication into product and store development and to develop a business model to sustain its business globally.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

Keywords

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Article

Kazunori Suzuki, Katsuyuki Tochimoto and Kazuhito Isomura

This paper aims to clarify how to start up and establish a new business by developing, combining and utilizing strategic resources and capabilities.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to clarify how to start up and establish a new business by developing, combining and utilizing strategic resources and capabilities.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper studies the case of Park24 by examining how it created a market, changed the way to compete in the market and utilized its business model effectively to enter a new business.

Findings

The paper finds that Park24 has become a leading company in its core business by developing its new development staff, its parking sites nationwide, its brand and its IT system, and that it has built a profitable business model and successfully entered the car sharing business by making good use of that business model.

Originality/value

The case study suggests that Park24 started and developed its core business by accumulating strategic resources and capabilities and establishing a profitable business model, and that it utilized this business model effectively to dominate the market shortly after entering.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 33 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

Keywords

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Article

Pei‐Yuh Huang and Kazuhito Isomura

This study aims to describe how the Nishimatsuya Chain Company, Ltd has established an innovative business model.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to describe how the Nishimatsuya Chain Company, Ltd has established an innovative business model.

Design/methodology/approach

This study examines Nishimatsuya's business model for its value proposition, business processes, internal and external management resources, and profitability.

Findings

Establishing simple, clear customer value creates a unique business model.

Practical implications

This study determined that a business model begins with identifying what customers really want. The value proposition innovates a business model by rethinking business processes, management resources, and profitability.

Originality/value

The Nishimatsuya case study suggests that identifying the value proposition underlies establishing a creative business model.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 29 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

Keywords

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Article

Kazuhito Isomura and Pei-Yuh Huang

– The purpose of this paper is to clarify how a follower company sets its survival strategy and creates its own business model to implement the strategy.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to clarify how a follower company sets its survival strategy and creates its own business model to implement the strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines the case of Shimamura from the viewpoint of its strategy, business model, business processes, managerial resources and value proposition.

Findings

Shimamura’s strategy is to avoid competition by creating a high entry barrier in its main market of local city areas. Shimamura dominates the market by opening its stores intensively in one area and eliminates its competitors to sell its products at a lower price. Shimamura continuously improves its low-cost operating system and develops comprehensive and evolutionary manuals to implement the strategy. Moreover, Shimamura adopts a flexible approach to changing its value proposition by combining its original value with new values.

Originality/value

The case study of Shimamura suggests that the survival of a follower company depends on building a strong business model that implements a clear and simple strategy.

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Article

Pei-Yuh Huang, Shigeru Kobayashi and Kazuhito Isomura

– The purpose of this paper is to clarify how a competitive company develops its own method to create innovation by utilizing imitation and learning.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to clarify how a competitive company develops its own method to create innovation by utilizing imitation and learning.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines the case of Fast Retailing from the viewpoint of imitation strategy.

Findings

Fast Retailing constantly explores and imports business ideas, evolves its business model through trial and error and finally creates innovation.

Practical implications

The paper emphasizes the importance of imitation strategy that flexibly accepts and extends business ideas through learning, creates new values by evolving a business model and combines them with corporate identity and brand.

Originality/value

The case study of Fast Retailing suggests that the successful imitation is enabled by flexible corporate culture and redefining its corporate identity and brand through the process of evolving its business model.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 30 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

Keywords

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Article

Kazuhito Isomura, Kazunori Suzuki and Katsuyuki Tochimoto

– This paper aims to clarify how to develop characters business models by utilizing new business concepts.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to clarify how to develop characters business models by utilizing new business concepts.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines three cases in Japan to innovate characters business models: Duffy, Hello Kitty and Kumamon.

Findings

The paper suggests that utilizing experience-based promotions, open innovation and a royalty-free strategy enhances customer loyalty to characters, expands customer targets and encourages autonomous collaboration of stakeholders.

Originality/value

These case studies clarify how new business models aim to increase customer loyalty to characters and widen customer targets beyond generation, industry and country.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

Keywords

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Article

Bahaudin G. Mujtaba and Kazuhito Isomura

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the leadership tendencies of Japanese people and relevant changes over time while exploring their task and relationship…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the leadership tendencies of Japanese people and relevant changes over time while exploring their task and relationship orientations on the basis of culture.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to explore the behavioural tendencies of working adults in the Japanese workplace, the paper focused on comparing the leadership orientations of 231 respondents on the basis of age, gender and public/private sector work experience. To deepen the understanding of Japanese leadership orientation, the authors precisely examine Japanese culture, organisation and management practices.

Findings

Japanese respondents have a significantly higher score on the relationship orientation. Their task score is also in the moderately high range. Japanese males were found to be more task‐oriented. No differences were found based on public/private sector work experience. However, older Japanese have a significantly higher focus on task orientation compared to their younger colleagues.

Research limitations/implications

One of the limitations is the small number of responses. One specific limitation is the fact that this study was conducted with a convenient sample population. Future studies can compare specific populations in different parts of the country with similar working backgrounds and demographic variables.

Practical implications

The findings that Japanese employees are more focused on their relationship but that they also have a moderately high task orientation score are useful for managers and expatriates working in Japan to understand the behavioural tendencies of Japanese people and the relevant changes over time.

Originality/value

Japan is a high‐context culture; therefore Japanese people are traditionally regarded to be relationship‐oriented, and this was confirmed academically in the findings of this research. However, the paper showed that the Japanese also have a moderately high task orientation.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

Keywords

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Article

Kazuhito Isomura

The purpose of this paper is to explore an effective educational method for leadership development.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore an effective educational method for leadership development.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to achieve the objective of the paper, Chester Barnard's insights on leadership and its development are reviewed: the gap between action and thinking; practitioners' ways of thinking and moral senses; combinations of abilities and qualities for leaders; and an educational method for leaders.

Findings

The paper concludes that when business school students write their own cases and explain them comprehensibly for others who did not experience the situation, they can enhance their abilities to observe and deeply analyze situations and are given opportunities to reflect and share their experiences.

Research limitations/implications

The paper proposes the idea of the educational method, so, in the future it would be possible to show how to implement this method concretely.

Practical implications

The paper suggests that it would be effective to develop an educational method based on practitioners' ways of thinking and sensing.

Originality/value

The paper indicates that practitioners develop their own ways of thinking and sensing that are different from researchers' ways of scientific thinking. Practitioners' ways of thinking and moral senses can be learned in educational institutions by using rich cases including participants' intentions and interpretations.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

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