February 13, 2017

Researcher Profile  Nishiguchi, Toshihiro

Nishiguchi, Toshihiro   Professor Emeritus, Adjunct Professor

Interorganizational relations

E-mail: toshi@iir.hit-u.ac.jp
Fax: +81-42-580-8410


1977                    B.A.(Political Science), the School of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University
1981                    M.Sc. (Social and Economic Aspects of Science and Technology in Industry), Imperial College, the University of London
1986-1989           Research Fellow, the International Motor Vehicle Program, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1990                    D.Phil. (Sociology), the University of Oxford
1990                    Post-Doctoral Fellow, INSEAD (the European Institute of Business Administration)
1991                    Assistant Professor of Management, the Wharton School, the University of Pennsylvania
1994                    Associate Professor, the Institute of Business Research, the Faculty of Commerce and Management, Hitotsubashi University
1997-2016        Professor, the Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University
1999-2006            Director, the Japan Academic Society for Ventures and Entrepreneurs
2000-2015            Director, the Japan Academy of International Business Studies
Summer 2001       Academic Visitor, the Judge Institute of Management, the University of Cambridge (Sponsor: Prof. Dame Sandra Dawson, Director)
Summer 2002       Visiting Senior Research Scholar, the School of Public Affairs, the University of Maryland (Sponsor: The Honorable Prof. Jacques Gansler, acting Dean)
Summer 2003       Visiting Senior Research Scholar, the School of Public Affairs, the University of Maryland (Sponsor: The Honorable Prof. Jacques Gansler, acting Dean)
November 2003    Received an official commendation from the Central Contract Office, the Japan Defense Agency for distinguished contributions to defense acquisition reforms and services
Autumn 2004       Visiting Research Scholar, the Center for International Studies, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sponsor: Prof. Richard Samuels, Director)
Summer 2005       Visiting Research Scholar, the Center for International Studies, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sponsor: Prof. Richard Samuels, Director)
2007-2012           Director, the Defense Procurement Structure Improvement Foundation
2008-present       Senior Research Fellow, the Policy Research Institute, the Ministry of Finance
2012-2013           Fulbright Visiting Scholar, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Sloan School of Management (Sponsor: Prof. Michael Cusumano)
2016                    Professor Emeritus, Hitotsubashi University
2016-present       Adjunct Professor, Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University
Autumn 2016       Academic Visitor, Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, the University of Oxford

Editorial Review Board Member of:
  Hitotsubashi Business Review (1994-present);
  International Journal of Innovation Management (1997-present);
  Comparative Policy Analysis (2002-present)

Recent Research Themes

Earlier Toshihiro Nishiguchi made important contributions to supplier relations research with his Strategic Industrial Sourcing (Oxford University Press, 1994; two-time winner of the Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing Research and the Nikkei Prize for Excellent Books in Economic Science both in 1995; also named an Outstanding Academic Book by Choice). In an advisory role in government, he has also made significant contributions to government reforms, including the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (formerly, MITI), the Ministry of Defense (formerly, the Japan Defense Agency), and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. In 2003 the Japan Defense Agency awarded him an official commendation for his outstanding contribution to defense acquisition reform.
Building on his decades of research on outsourcing and networks, his current research focuses on how community networks characterized by both cohesiveness and rewiring capabilities sensitive to customer needs should help boost competitiveness at organizational, inter-corporate and community levels.
Given a growing concern for how networks help mobilize resources more flexibly than traditional hierarchies in today’s turbulent environments and how community capital can be deployed to sustain such resource allocation, his current research endeavor pertains to identifying the underlying determinants of successful institutional arrangements of organization and networking at the three levels of analysis.
First, at the organizational level he examines in some detail the emergent experiments of introducing cross-functional teams to defense systems development in today’s context of defense procurement reforms among allies, importing best practices from the private sector. Bringing the concept of customer development into government service is found to be useful in producing responsive results.
Second, at the inter-corporate level he pulls together rich sources of research on lean production or Toyotism and theorizes its underlying logic as fractal links, in which the minimalist unit of supplier-customer relations permeates through the supply chain across scale on a just-in-time (JIT) basis so that successful problem-solving action may transpire in a self-similar manner without a central control in both normal situations and times of crisis. While the dramatic recovery from the Aisin fire is a case in point (Nishiguchi and Beaudet, 1998, 2000), a new interpretation incorporating the perspective of small-world network theory has been presented (Nishiguchi, 2007).
Third, at the community level his collaborator and he investigate the emerging networking patterns of Chinese entrepreneurs from Wenzhou, Zhejiang province. Wenzhou is frequently dubbed the birthplace of spontaneous capitalism in China, whose striking economic success has been widely recognized, in comparison with their counterparts from several other locales in China. In particular, the researchers examine the extent to which how different types of Wenzhou entrepreneurs are exquisitely networked is related to their phenomenal success, which may explain efficient information transmission (short path length) on the basis of their community cohesiveness (high clustering coefficient). Having conducted and pulling together more than a decade of extensive field research on the topic, a substantial academic volume in Japanese is forthcoming (Nishiguchi and Tsujita 2016). Also on the agenda is preparing a manuscript of a book for the general readership in English that incorporates the essential findings of the aforementioned three research endeavors.