|Budget Amount *help
¥1,400,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,400,000)
Fiscal Year 1995 : ¥400,000 (Direct Cost : ¥400,000)
Fiscal Year 1994 : ¥1,000,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,000,000)
The purpose of this reserach is to grasp the relationship between the patent/utility model applications, the research and development activity, and the competitiveness of the products of manufacturing industries in Japan.
The main results are as follows : 1. In the top 100 companies for patents, we found that the largest group is concentranted in the electrical machinery industry, and the second largest group is concetrated in the chemical industry. In the top 100 companies for utility models, we found that the largest group is concentrated in the electrical machinery industry, and the second largest group is concentrated in the motor vehicle industry. In the top 100 companies for suggestions, most surprisingly, the industry with largest number of suggestions per company is the motor vehicle industry and that with the second largest number is the electrical machinery industry. The electrical machinery industry is the largest group for patent/utility models, patens, and utility models. I
n the motor vehicle industry, the number of utility models is slightly larger than the number of patents. The type of technological innovation in the Japanese motor vehicle industry may be characterized by incremental improvement. 2. The utility model is not signicantly correlated with RD/Sales ratio, and is signic antly correlated with the number of suggestions in the single regression analysis, but it doesn't show any statistically significant results in the multiple regression analysis. The number of suggestions is signicantly correlated with patent and utility model, and the relationship between the number of suggestions and the number of patents seems to be stronger than that of the number of suggestions and the number of utility models. The number of suggestions per person who engages in suggestion activity doesn't have any significant result. The suggestion system has a connection with the mechanism of quality control as a whole, while it is considered to have a strong connection with labor productivity on the shop floor. The numbers from the suggestion system are correlated with the number of utility models. However, contrary to expectation, the explanatory power of R & D activity is stronger than that of the suggestion activity in a multiple regression. It's also interesting that R & D activity isn't significantly correlated with utility modeling activity.
3. The quality control style, the QC (Quality Control) Circle activity, and the suggestion system in Japanese firms as the sources of the driving forces of the Kaizen activity (continuous improvements) produce the synergy effects in a body that bring out the incremental improvement, the characteristics of Japanese technical progress. We can see that the daily making of the Kaizen Mind is stressed through the formation of `the habit of thinking' in the workplace, and the making of the framework of workers' `voluntary' coping with the improvement of the quality of products and cost reduction as the target of the activity. When this kind of target management functions well, the strong Quality Control through the cumulative effects of the daily Kaizen activity, and the increase of the productivity in the workplace may be the result. The Kaizen Activities of the Japanese firms aim to improve the quality of products ceaselessly, and also aim to reduce the cost of production daily. 4. If we pay attention to the suggestion activities by means of the number of suggestions as to the numerical outcome of the activities, we can only observe that the number of the suggestions has increased after 1975 and into the 1980s. This evidence betrayd our expectation that QC Circle had playd a principal role in a long period of our analysis in the 1960s-1980s. The outcomes of the QC Circle activities are multiple : a lot of suggestions, the cost reductions, the improvements of the work environment, the quality of products, and the achievements of enhancing the employees' morale. When we would try to investigate the background factors and the technical basis of the incremental improvements or the Kaizen Activities in Japanese firms, it may result in useless barriers if we discuss the TQC and the QC Circle exclusively. 5. In Japan, it is the beginning of the 1970s, especially after the oil crisis (1973-1975), that the Suggestion Activities came to be activated, viewing from the point of the number of the suggestions per eligible or per company. Then the suggestion activity and the Small Group (QC Circle) Activities went in a body. The number of the suggestions peaked at the end of the 1980s, and tended to decrease drastically. The purposes and the roles of the suggestion activities of many companies seemed to change, from volume-oriented to quality-oriented in the middle of the 1980s. Less