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What makes up the Inamori management philosophy?

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Osaka – This is the first of a three-part series that discusses the management philosophy of Kazuo Inamori, founder and chairman emeritus of Kyocera Corp.

Kazuo Inamori, chairman emeritus of Kyocera Corp., established the company from scratch and expanded it into the world’s No. 1 ceramic maker. He also launched KDDI, which became the nation’s second-largest telecom firm, out of his motivation to offer low-cost telecommunication services to consumers. He took charge of rebuilding the failed Japan Airlines without any financial compensation — out of his wish to do good for people and society — and transformed it into an airline with the world’s top-level profitability. He is widely known as a businessperson representative of Japan.

Inamori’s business management has characteristics completely different from others’ — in that he places a set of philosophical and ethical norms — called Inamori philosopy — at the foundation of his management. On the basis of this philosophy, he developed and practised a management system that fully takes into account how people’s mind reacts — a system that pursues not the profits or share prices of the company but the material and mental happiness of all the employees as its primary objective.

The system is known for “ameba management” — in which the organization of a company is divided into small groups called amebas and targets are set that should be easy for each employee to understand, so that all employees will be able to autonomously and proactively take part in the management and give full play to their wisdom and efforts — as well as the seven principles of “Inamori accounting” that pursues fairness in corporate accounting by coming to grips with the weakness of human mind (such as accuracy of information, compliance with norms, preventing misconduct and transparency in information). Leaders of the organization are required to brush up their personal quality so........

© The Japan Times