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Sustainable Growth Through Strategic Innovation

Driving Congruence in Capabilities

Mitsuru Kodama

From detailed reviews of existing dynamic capabilities, this book presents a theoretical model of a strategic innovation system as a corporate system capability to enable a large company to achieve strategic innovation. The book includes in-depth case studies to illustrate the importance of strategic innovation capabilities.
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Preface and acknowledgments

Driving Congruence in Capabilities

Mitsuru Kodama

Sustainable Growth Through Strategic Innovation

This is the third book I have published as a single author through Edward Elgar Publishing. The book discusses strategic management and innovation activities in corporations from the perspective of the capabilities of individuals, groups and organizations. This book is the result of substantive observations made over a long period of time by me in the business workplace, and analysis of those observations. The industries I selected for this research are those in primarily high-tech areas such as ICT. The reason for selecting this field from among the many industries is because it has the most intense changes in business models due to the particularly dynamic evolution of the capabilities in it.

Over 21 years, I experienced the exciting business of mainly companyinternal ventures and the development of new products, services and businesses in the rapidly changing ICT field. Through past business experience, I found that a driving force supporting learning and innovation in companies is capabilities, and that these are dynamic elements that are constantly changing. I found that these capabilities evolve by the orchestration (or integration) of the assets (knowledge) of people and groups, the leadership of top and middle management, and staff, and dynamic process to achieve real business. The asset orchestration, leadership, and dynamic process dynamically formulate and implement strategy in corporate organizations. An important aspect of the evolution of capabilities is the theoretical perspective on dynamic capabilities. At the micro level, practitioners either consciously or unconsciously, and dynamically network assets (knowledge) to bring about continuous strategic innovation and sustainable growth.

The purpose of this book is to extract micro level theoretical frameworks (capabilities congruence, strategic innovation capabilities, strategic innovation loop, strategic innovation system, sustaining strategic innovation model) for companies to bring about new assets (knowledge) and strategic innovation with a realistic view of organizational and strategic dynamic processes in industries that are constantly changing through time such as the fast-moving ICT field. As a researcher of business persons and in the field of business and management studies, the most important objective of this book is how to bridge theory and practice. For this reason, I have immersed myself deeply in organizations and closely observed and analyzed the thinking and actions of many practitioners including those in their partnered corporations and their customers. Hence, I performed an in-depth qualitative study pursuing the research issues of how practitioners actually dynamically set down and execute strategy both inside and outside of companies, and how they restructure organizations to acquire and demonstrate new capabilities. Accordingly the research methodologies I employed are primarily in-depth case studies centered on participant observation and ethnography.

In this long-term field research, I was giving much encouragement and valuable insights into practitioners’ creation of the businesses of the future and achievement of visions in exciting business environments through practical hands-on activities as their way of lives. However, there is also drama in business activity (macro and micro, and in both cases of success and failure), and it’s the subjectivity and values as beliefs and thoughts of practitioners that achieve strategy and acquire capabilities.

This book could not be completed without the thorough and strict interaction that I have had with many practitioners. I would like to extend my gratitude to these practitioners that are of a number too great to count. Concerning the publication of this book, I wish to extend my appreciation to Ms Francine O’Sullivan, Senior Commissioning Editor in Edward Elgar, who provided tremendous support.

I am also deeply grateful for the valuable comments offered by the two reviewers of the proposal for this book. Lastly I would like to express my deep gratitude to Nihon University’s College of Commerce, my workplace which has provided me with the comforts of a day-to-day research environment.

Mitsuru Kodama