Chapter 4

Knowledge Management

Japanese companies focus very heavily on communication and free knowledge flow inside the company boundaries. In contrast to Western firms, there are few secrets within Japanese firms. Knowledge and information are shared freely within a firm because company goals are generally seen as more important than individual goals. Knowledge is not related to power because promotion and salaries are connected to an employee’s age rather than to personal skills or achievements. Employees therefore do not need to develop career strategies based on individual knowledge. The Japanese way of managing knowledge has led to great advantages for firms when developing new products or implementing new and innovative technologies. ...

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