This book concerns industry creation as knowledge creation. The authors argue that a new class of global, knowledge-driven manufacturing industries has emerged in which learning, continuity and speed define competition. In these new industries, access to knowledge-creation processes matters more than ownership of physical assets. Location matters only insofar as it confers learning advantages and market access. Companies need strategies that can mobilize their organizations’ country-specific strengths and freely leverage them in open, global learning partnerships with allies, suppliers and customers. The book distills principles that managers can use to seize leadership for their companies as these new industries emerge.
The authors drew their insights from first-hand discussions with over 160 managers and scientists in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the U.S. and Europe who helped found the high-information-content flat panel display (FPD) industry. The FPD industry was the first new manufacturing industry to fully emerge in a global economy defined more by trade in knowledge than in physical products. The book recounts the business decisions that propelled the industry from humble beginnings in Japan first to build watch and calculator displays, then to empower a globally-mobile workforce with portable computing and finally to build wall-hanging, high definition televisions that every household can afford. Success required companies to orchestrate global strategic and organizational innovations in concert with an unprecedented rate of technological change in their laboratories, factories and markets. In doing so, they established new rules for competing in the knowledge-driven manufacturing industries of the future, first described here for managers, R&D scientists, academics and students of corporate strategy.
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