Cofounder and chairman of Sony Corporation, Morita, who personifies Japan's postwar technological ascendancy, ascribes his interest in electronics to his mother's love of Victrola recordings of European music. With the help of Time magazine's Tokyo bureau-chief Reingold and Japanese journalist Shimomura, he traces the development of his multinational firm, starting with a primitive tape recorder he built amid Tokyo's wartime rubble. Determined to change the image of Japanese goods to one of quality in foreign markets, especially in the U.S. where he established a subsidiary, he was gratified that Sony products were soon copied by global competitors. While retaining the mental discipline of his native education, Morita has adopted features of the Western world. He contrasts the Japanese familial, long-term concept of employee relations and other business practices with those of the U.S., which he criticizes for its litigious, hasty and often uncompromising attitudes. Liberalization of trade on both sides, he avers, would be a positive step in solving the worldwide economic crisis. Photos not seen by PW. 100,000 first printing; major ad/promo; Fortune Book Club dual main selection; BOMC and Executive Program alternates; author tour.(October 20)
This volume provides a biography of the legendary co-founder and chairman of the Sony Corporation, Akio Morita. Beginning in the waning days of World War II and spanning to the present, Morita deftly comments on a variety of topics ranging from the post-war reconstruction of Japan to his views on world trade. Of special interest to managers will be Morita's chapter ``On Management,'' which unlocks some of the issues he believes to account for Japanese economic success. Items of discussion here include the Japanese philosophies of lifetime employment, job rotation, long-run orientation, and quality control. This book seems destined to be the Japanese version of Iacocca. BOMC alternate; Fortune Book Club selection. Gene R. Laczniak, Coll. of Business Administration, Marquette Univ.