Amoeba Management: Lessons From Japan’s Kyocera Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

A persistent challenge for businesses as they grow is the best way to maintain the high level of dynamism and employee commitment that drove success in the early days. Through the years, sensible managers and management theorists have formulated many approaches for coping with the issue, all aimed at giving more responsibility and liability for the performance of their very own profit centers to workers and supervisors. Hence the authors declare that few businesses have taken things as far as Kyocera Corp. Headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, Kyocera produces a variety of industrial ceramics, semiconductor parts, electronics apparatus and information and telecommunications equipment.

Kyocera founder Kazuo Inamori developed the amoeba management system to help everyday workers with no operations or finance foundations see how they could promote the triumph of the company. Within Kyocera, there are some 3,000 amoebas, most of which have between five and 50 employees. Find ways of working with other amoebas to achieve profitable growth and they are anticipated to work alone. Amoebas share their strategies with senior managers at plantwide assemblies. Hourly efficiency is the principal measure of amoeba performance. The ratio enables management to make profitability comparisons across amoebas and time. The authors note that Kyocera's system is better suited for business environments characterized by intense competition and quick technological change, because decentralized structures are required by businesses in such surroundings.

PUBLICATION DATE: October 01, 2012 PRODUCT #: SMR430-HCB-ENG

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