Dr. Kazuo Inamori is one of Japan’s most influential business leaders. His original management philosophy, which was honed by his experience of running Kyocera, guided KDDI to great success in the telecommunications market, and also proved its worth in the process of rejuvenating Japan Airlines. Today, this management philosophy has become a principle that guides us not only in business but also in all aspects of our lives. This is not just a philosophy to be studied, but a philosophy to be put into practice in everyday life.
Accordingly, this center conducts research on his management philosophy from perspectives of various disciplines, including philosophy, psychology, sociology, education, policy science and anthropology as well as business administration. What differentiates this center from other research institutes is that this center conducts research using an orthodox academic approach from multidisciplinary perspectives and invites researchers from a variety of backgrounds to join the research programs.
When considering research themes, we adopted the concept of universality as the core research theme of the center. Conducting research on Inamori’s management philosophy is not our only aim. We are also eager to study his philosophy in comparison with a wide range of existing research results and findings in each discipline and establish this philosophy as an academic theory through discussions with Western researchers. By doing so, we hope to prove that it is wrong to assume that Inamori’s management philosophy works only in the specific circumstances in which Kyocera underwent development or only in Japan or East Asia, and to ensure that his management philosophy will become more universally applicable to different cultures, regions and circumstances and more widely practiced.
We will launch research projects, firstly in the fields of philosophy, psychology and business administration.
Examples of research projects in the field of philosophy
- It is said that the emergence of global capitalism fully released the human desire to pursue selfish interests. This project explores how human desire is shaped in today’s context, how human desire is exploited by capitalism, how the idea of Rita or “altruism” can impact the current situation, and how we can conceive norms such as self-directed fairness and control of greed. The project also considers the significance of the release of desire and concurrent establishment of norms.
- Essentially, various social elements are required to be involved in the process of designing public spaces. The emergence of mechanisms of altruistic nature, such as microfinance, is relevant to such a requirement. This project explores the historical background, current situation, and future possibilities in this regard.
- Dr. Kazuo Inamori has successfully integrated the following seemingly conflicting ideas into his corporate management: “A company is evil vs. a company is a public entity and foundation of society,” “egoism vs. altruism,” and “cooperation vs. competition.” This project explores factors that have made possible the successful union of these ideas from a philosophical perspective, to deepen understanding of corporate management that is based on norms and high-level capitalism.
Examples of research projects in the field of psychology
- After World War II, Japanese people single-mindedly sought and gained material wealth, believing that material wealth would bring happiness. Today, however, it is a widely accepted notion that material wealth or healthy longevity does not necessarily guarantee happiness. This project explores the meaning of happiness as well as the conditions of happiness, referring also to the view of happiness based on the idea of Rita or “altruism” advocated by Dr. Kazuo Inamori.
- Today, many people suffer the problem of being unable to overcome a failure or being too afraid of failure and taking a risk in order to move forward. Dr. Kazuo Inamori achieved many great things despite facing many problems in his life. This project focuses on Dr. Inamori’s view on risk and failure and the measures he took to overcome difficulties, and explores how we can overcome failure and take risks in our lives without being excessively afraid, based on the psychological concept of resilience and the idea of multiple paths in life.
Examples of research projects on leadership in the field of business administration
- Leadership is the most important factor in motivating members of an organization, empowering them, and leading innovations and organizational reform, and its importance is recognized by Western business persons as well. Dr. Kazuo Inamori is an outstanding leader himself, and his remarks on ideal leadership have been recorded on many occasions. Characteristically, Dr. Inamori’s view of leadership attaches more value to personal qualities, compared with the Western idea of leadership. This project considers how leadership should be exercised, while referring to the Western notion of leadership and comparing it with Dr. Inamori’s view of leadership.
- It is one of the most important roles of leaders to communicate and instill a unified mentality, conduct, culture, and business practice among members of the organization through internal learning opportunities. This project deals with the issue of communicating and instilling a corporate philosophy, in terms of micro-foundation, organizational routine and motivation.
Examples of research projects on theory of organization in the field of business administration
- Dr. Kazuo Inamori advocates the idea of “management by all,” a practice that empowers all employees to participate in organizational decision-making by sharing the sense of value, philosophy and issues to be addressed, and he actually has put this idea into practice. Employees are expected to view their work as an opportunity to “polish their souls.” This notion can influence the way we live, including work-life relationships and the philosophy of manufacturing. This project explores how “management by all” can affect an employee’s mentality and organizational performance.
- In “management by all,” attention is paid to the organizational culture, fairness, Rita or “altruism,” and the emotional reactions of employees such as exposure of feelings. Attention is also paid to how an organizational culture that encourages “management by all” can affect the formation of personality on a long-term basis. This project explores the relationships among these factors.
- This project considers how Rita or “altruism” is recognized by individuals and teams in the context of business and how recognizing “Rita” can affect individual awareness of work and the activities of teams (e.g. pride in work, work-related stress, sales performance, and the ability to ensure safety and offer high-quality services.)
Japanese / English