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Competitive advantages of US and Japan

The World Economic Forum studies global competition and publishes the global competitive index, which is quite intriguing. US as a country has slipped from the top position to the 6th position in the 2007 rankings (WEF, 2007). Japan leads innovation. However, US holds the top rank in the business competitiveness index (BCI). The surprise here is that Japanese also have stringent SOPs.

This statement was presented in my class. Can anyone give some feedback on this? Would more stringent SOP's in US businesses increase innovation and gain its position back?

On the other hand,
It is known that Google excels in innovation and has flexible SOP's.

Which would be the most beneficial to a business?

Solution Preview

I do not think the SOP connection is what happened to America.

First to give credit to the Japanese corporate values. Many people do not know that in 1983, Toyota formed a strategic alliance with GM as a method of entry into the US market. That alliance was intact until last year. The benefit for GM was to learn the Japanese production system that focuses on streamlining process and costs, undoubtedly one of Japan's strongest assets. At the time American automakers were struggling and strikes were frequent as well as poor employee attitude, pride and attendance. The Japanese system instills a sense of ownership and pride into each worker's duty. The internal turnaround was most ...

Solution Summary

The solution explains the recent slide of the US from #1 econicallly to #6. Question wondered if US should adapt Japan's organizational structure. Some surprising answers.