Working Paper | August 30, 2018

Modular Production’s Impact on Japan’s Electronics Industry

Global integration has accelerated the worldwide flow of knowledge and information, causing societies to become embedded in one another in complex ways, even as they retain their distinctive characters. This chapter examines the process of global integration through the lens of national industrial models – the collection of routines and strategies generally shared by corporate managers in a particular society.

Some might question the notion of national industrial models, rightly pointing to diversity among firms based in a specific society. All Japanese firms, for example, are not the same (Suzuki, 2004). I would agree with Berger’s (2005) assertion that managers face ‘open pathways’ and so can and do choose a range of strategies. Nevertheless, societies continue to have distinct cultures, institutions, and histories, and so differences persist in the face of global integration in ways that profoundly shape corporate strategy. In the course of sustained field research on the locational and organization strategies of more than 500 firms in a variety of industries and countries