While political and cultural factors are important as explanations for differences in national technology policy and industrial practices, emergent trends in science, engineering and management are leading to new paradigms for high-technology innovation in both Japan and the United States. During the Spring of 1992, participants in a seminar at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government had the opportunity to explore in depth the views of a distinguished group of technical leaders from eight large Japanese industrial corporations. The focus of the seminar was to explore alternative views of the innovation process, examine approaches to managing innovation and setting technology strategy within the firm, and discuss the future of the business environment and management approaches. The examination of Japanese innovations in the management of technology that resulted from this seminar will be useful not only to technical managers in Japan, the United States, and other countries, but may also help inform public policy by shedding light on the sources of competitive advantage in both nations. Co-published with the Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University.
Lewis M. Branscomb is Albert Pratt Public Service Professor and Director of the Science and Technology Public Policy Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Fumio Kodama is Professor at Saitama University and was Visiting Professor at the Center for Science and International Affairs during the 1991-1992 academic year.