Amoeba Management: Why it Works at Kyocera and which other Firms Could Benefit from its Adoption - Part 1
Adler, Ralph W; Hiromoto, Toshiro
This paper is the first of two articles that explores the workings of amoeba management. Kyocera, a Japanese manufacturer of ceramics and printing-related devices, first introduced amoeba management in the 1960s. On the surface, amoeba management appears very similar to a company’s widespread use of profit centers / pseudo profit centers. Researchers, or at least those who publish in English-language business journals, invariably focus on the issue of organizational structuring, typically relying on highly descriptive business case studies to showcase the use of amoeba management at Kyocera. Missing from the literature has been any attempt to draw upon business theory to help understand how and why amoeba management’s success is achieved. This first paper, which is Part 1 of a two-part series, draws on the fields of organizational sociology and organizational psychology to uncover and identify the implicit set of unifying and coordinating mechanisms that enables Kyocera’s use of a highly, and what some might even call radically, decentralized organizational structure to succeed. The second paper explores which firms are most likely to benefit from amoeba management adoption and identifies the internal and external factors that are likely to promote or prevent its successful adoption.
Editor: Stringer, Carolyn
Series: Accountancy Working Paper Series
Series number: 2010 - 4
Rights Statement: Please do not cite or quote without the expressed permission of the authors.
Keywords: Amoeba management, contingency theory, decentralized structures, organizational culture
Research Type: Working Paper
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