At the 2014 spring meeting of the AJG conference held at the Kokushikan University in Tokyo SIEM received two research presentations:
1. Hagiwara, Hachiro (Shikoku Univ.): Japanese enterprises in Brazil: Its transition and the third investment boom;
2. Tsubomoto, Hiroyuki (Tokyo Metropolitan Univ.): Recent restructuring business space of Central Tokyo.
Professor Hagiwara taught us that Japanese immigrated to Brazil and became important within the domestic agriculture, energy and steel industry. He informed us about distinguished problems of Japanese FDI in Brazil: 1. Lost decades led to low FDI; 2. Shortcomings in corporate strategy; 3. Decision-making is slow and tied to headquarters in Japan; 4. Localizing of the management done with hesitation. As a result other East Asian enterprises, especially from Korea, could develop faster into the Brazilian market. We discussed if the accumulating know-how about the local management through Japanese firms’ long experience in Brazil is still valuable in a phase of accelerating globalization etc.
We learnt from Professor Tsubomoto that Tokyo as platform to exercise new team projects using the variety of real and virtual office spaces. Transformation of central Tokyo was documented by practices invented and spurred by management consulting and IT companies. Innovative practices such as free address system, flex office, client site, on-demand space, home office, etc. were introduced make the workplace more efficient. Non-territorial office layouts were designed enhancing F2F contacts. Not only cost reduction but efficiency was found to be at the core of the management strategy. Increasing motivation by amenity during work hours were options. These changes were seen due to the impact of foreign firms who invaded the small consulting market of the alpha city, Tokyo. Prof. Tsubomoto (2007, p.29) conclude also in his paper that the approach was shifted from the cost-driven model to the business driven model.
Prof. Hagiwara presents about FDI in Brazil
Prof. Tsubomoto presents Tokyo’s business space