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From production systems to learning systems: lessons from Japan

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  • J Patchell

Abstract

The need to advance the conventional understanding of production systems as fixed flows of goods and services to dynamic systems based on learning is discussed. The theory advanced is based on research on the Japanese robot industry. The paper opens with a discussion of the meaning of flexibility in a dynamic economy to expose the social division of labour as the foundation of the creation and evolution of production systems. Production systems are established to obtain the scale and scope economies offered by the independent firms of the social division of labour. The necessity to organize production requires the creation of some type of an internal or external governance structure. The Japanese have developed a social technology that resolves the transaction cost trade-offs confronting North American industry between internal and external governance structures. Asanuma's relation-specific skill is discussed as the crux for comprehending the shift from production systems to learning systems.

Suggested Citation

  • J Patchell, 1993. "From production systems to learning systems: lessons from Japan," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 25(6), pages 797-815, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:25:y:1993:i:6:p:797-815
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    Cited by:

    1. Courvoisier, François & Calmelet, Laurence, 2012. "Stratégies marketing pour PME sous-traitantes dans l’horlogerie
      [Marketing strategies for subcontractant SME in the watchmaking industry]
      ," MPRA Paper 43413, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 May 2012.
    2. Arne Isaksen & Bjørn T. Asheim, "undated". "Location, agglomeration and innovation: Towards regional innovation systems in Norway?," STEP Report series 199613, The STEP Group, Studies in technology, innovation and economic policy.
    3. Peter Draper & Andreas Freytag & Sören Scholvin & Luong Thanh Tran, 2016. "Is a ‘Factory Southern Africa’ Feasible?," World Bank Other Operational Studies 23788, The World Bank.
    4. Roger Hayter & Jerry Patchell & Kevin Rees, 1999. "Business Segmentation and Location Revisited: Innovation and the Terra Incognita of Large Firms," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(5), pages 425-442.
    5. Peter Draper & Andreas Freytag & Sören Scholvin & Luong Thanh Tran, 2016. "Is a 'Factory Southern Africa' Feasible? Harnessing Flying Geese to the South African Gateway," CESifo Working Paper Series 5867, CESifo Group Munich.

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