The Evolution of Seru Production Systems Throughout Canon
University of Texas at Dallas, USA and Yamagata University, Japan
Akita Prefecture University, Japan
Kathryn E. Stecke
University of Texas at Dallas, USA
Volume 2: 2008, pp. 27-40; ABSTRACT
Since the 1970s, Japanese manufacturing firms continue giving big surprises with strong impact to Western industries and academia. The first was the Toyota Production System (TPS). It has been imitated by many companies all over the world and has also motivated thousands of publications in the business press. The second was the knowledge-creating process, which has become a basic theory for knowledge management. The concept of the knowledge-creating company was developed by Ikujiro Nonaka, whose classic article, The Knowledge-Creating Company (1995), was one of the most influencial management pieces in the last century. Since then, another manufacturing innovation – decompose assembly conveyor lines to serus – has occurred in Japanese industries. It is still largely unknown outside Japan. This case describes serus through one of its most successful practicers: Canon. Through this case, we understand why and how seru helps make Canon and many other Japanese companies so successful.
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