Abstract for: Is Japanese Manufacturing Style (so-called Monozukuri) really robust? - A Causal Loop Diagram and Modeling Approach -

Monozukuri (Japanese Manufacturing Style) is said to be one of the specialties of Japan as Ezra F. Vogel pointed out in his "Japan As Number One". With the application of causal loop diagram analysis in systems thinking, this paper tries to reconsider the structure which gives strength and weakness of Monozukuri. The Monozukuri model is developed by unifying various elements which has been conventionally argued in various academic areas. There are three layers of positive causal loops (strength): professional spirits on Monozukuri at an individual level, trust-based style of management as an in-house management-policy at an individual corporate level and trust-based transactions on R&D and parts-supplier-network (Keiretsu) at an inter-corporate level However, these strength loops are shown to be easily turned out to be weak ones. This paper identifies five exogenous variables that turn the strength to the weakness. Trust-based management based on Monozukuri is shown to be superior to the Western-style contract-based management, because the latter brings just a temporary increase in profits, but works as a negatively in the long run. The companies which adopted trust-based style of management have robustness in profit to the technological standardization. Japanese company should continuously improve the structure of strength.