Background of the Writer
Considered one of the greatest Japanese guru, Kenichi Ohmae was born in February 21 1943 in the Japanese area of Kitakyushu. In 1966, he attained a university degree in chemistry from the Waseda University. Two years later, he earned his masters from the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Bailey, 2003, p.385). His academic success continued when in 1970, he earned a doctorate in nuclear engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His graduation in 1970 saw him appointed by Hitachi as the senior design engineer where he worked until 1972. From this time up to 1995, Ohmae worked for McKinsey & Company, which was consultancy organization. His achievements were recognized by appointing him as the dean as well as the professor of UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and subsequently a visiting professor of Stanford Graduate School of Business. According to Bailey (2003, p.385), his major achievements include leading the H20 project which provided lessons from the fatal accident that happened in Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant for the Minister of Environment and Minister for the Restoration of Nuclear Accident. Ohmae is one of the contemporary strategies whose ideas are current and applicable to the contemporary business organizations.
His Main Thoughts/Ideas
Kenichi is famously known as Mr. Strategy due to his insistence that organizations should be focused on their strategy as opposed to their operations. His main model is the renowned 3C. In his view, strategists should be interested in three core factors of success namely, the corporation, the customer, and competition. He referred to these 3C as the strategic triangle in which the three must be integrated for the sustenance of competitive advantage. Of all those 3C, Ohmae (1883, p.10) stresses that the customer-based strategies are the bedrock of the other strategies. Specifically, it is his view that an organization's foremost concern ought to be the interest of its customers rather than that of its stakeholders and other parties (Ohmae, 1983, p.12) In strategizing for the customer Ohmae states that they must be segmented by objectives whereby a differentiation is made on the various uses that customers have on a particular product. The other segmentation that he proposes is that of customer coverage. In this case, organizations ought to optimize its market coverage range to reduce the costs of marketing. He also adds that the market should be re-segmented through picking small groups of consumer and evaluating their tastes and preferences (Zhang, 2010, p.79). Finally, on the customer strategy, Ohmae posits that there ought to be changes in the customer mix.
On the corporate-based strategies, Ohmae (1983, p.8) states that the core aim should be the maximization of an organization's strength in relation to competition in its functional areas. One of the strategies include selectivity and sequencing whereby, an organization ought not to have a lead in terms of transition from sourcing to functioning but should rather lead in one of the two. Additionally, it is his opinion that corporations should not continue to entertain increasing wage costs. On the contrary, it is critical to subcontract a part for their assembly operations. More importantly, Ohmae (1983, p.10) has the idea that corporations should be focused on the improvement of costs effectiveness through the reduction of basic costs, selectivity in the acceptance of orders, and sharing of key functions with other businesses and companies. On the third C of competitor-based strategies, Ohmae (1983, p.12) states that an evaluation should be done through differentiating the purchasing, design, and engineering sectors as well as the sales and servicing area. His famous Japanese phrase Hito-Kane-Mono that translates to people, money, and things should be key in edging out competitors.
Where His Ideas Fit Into the Quinn Competing Values Framework
This model is focused on the major indicators of effective organizations. According to Bailey (2003, p.385), the four competing values developed by Quin include the human relations model, which focuses on the development of employees, and the open systems model that is concerned with the externalities and flexibility. Additionally, the rational goal model with its area of concern being on goal setting and productivity, and the internal process model that focuses on information management, communication and control (Bailey, 2003, p.386). From these four competing values, the best one in which the 3C model of Ohmae fit is the rational goal model, which presupposes that organization should exercise control on the external factors. Specifically, the 3C model is focused on competitors, the consumers, and the corporation. The external focus here is on the consumers and the competitors (Zhang, 2010, p.67). As such, this fits well with the rational goal model of the Quinn competing values.
A Critical Assessment of His Contribution
The 3C model is praised for its ability to provide a structured approach for the identification of the needs of the industry and aid in formulating and implementing projects geared towards optimal performance. According to Kaewmungkoon et al. (2016, p.347), this model is contemporarily used by organizations in identifying where any support is needed, the type of support needed, and the methods that can be used in the formulation of effective support mechanisms. However, Jianmin and Guangjin (2013, p.66) states that the model has various risk factors as failure to have a proper analysis of the customers as well as the competitors might lead in the making of wrong decisions. Despite this, this model has contributed in these days to effective business management as it has led to the formulation of appropriate strategies that have led to effective operations.
Bailey, J.R., 2003. The mind of the strategist. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 2(4), pp.385-385.
Ohmae, K., 1983. The mind of the strategist. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Gregory, A., 2007, March. A systems approach to strategic management. In Proceedings of the 51st Annual Meeting of the ISSS-2007, Tokyo, Japan (Vol. 51, No. 2).
Zhang, J., 2010. Research on Triangle Pavilion Model of Marketing Positioning. Journal of Chinese Marketing, 3(2), pp.79-84.
Jianmin, T. and Guangjin, L., 2013, November. Focus flank attack strategy and its approaches. In 2013 6th International Conference on Information Management, Innovation Management and Industrial Engineering (Vol. 3, pp. 66-70). IEEE.
Hunter, M., 2012. The Evolution of business strategy. WiWi-Online. de, Hamburg, Deutschland, 2012; online im.
Kaewmungkoon, S., Ussahawanitchakit, P. and Raksong, S., 2016. Marketing excellence strategy and firm survival. The Business & Management Review, 7(5), p.347.
Appendix 1: The Assessment of the Credibility and Reliability of the Sources
Bailey, 2003 This article presents various papers on strategic leadership. It was used to provide alternative thoughts to those of Ohmae. The article is credible as it printed in a renowned journal. Its reliability is high considering the qualifications of the authors.
Ohmae, 1983 In this article, the business strategy model of Ohmae is presented. As such, it was used to provide the tenets of the 3C model. Considering that, a famous Japanese guru wrote it, it is very credible and reliable.
Gregory, 2007 This article discusses the contributions of systems discipline to strategic management. It was used as it critics Ohmae's ideas on various fronts. The credibility of the article arises from the fact that it arises from the ISSS meeting in Tokyo, Japan.
Zhang, 2010 The focus of this article is on the marketing aspect of the pavilion triangle. It was used to reinforce Ohmaes points. Being written by two authors increases its credibility as they shared ideas.
Jianmin and Guangjin, 2013 Ohmae's ideas are attacked in this article. As such, it was use to offer criticism to the 3C model. Being a report of international conference makes the article credible and thereby reliable.
Hunter, 2012. This article explains the beginning of business strategies. The article was useful in giving information on how business strategies evolved. Being just recently published, the article is very reliable.
Kaewmungkoon, Ussahawanitchakit and Raksong, 2016. This article focuses on marketing strategy that is core to the success of a business. It was useful in giving an overview of the marketing business strategy. Published recently, this article is very reliable.
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