Learning from Japan

October 29, 2015
04:30 PM - 06:00 PM
University Club

Presentation by Eleanor Westney, a sociologist, Japan scholar and management theorist at the Aalto University School of Business and the Schulich School of Business at York University.

Since the mid-1990’s, Japan’s lack of economic growth, apparent public policy ineffectiveness, and the slow response of many of its leading companies to a rapidly changing global business and technological context have made the era of learning from Japan a distant memory. However, as many of the world’s most developed economies, including Canada, are facing the challenges of economic slowdown and political paralysis, the Japanese experience may have more to teach us than we have realized. Japan’s response to the 3/11 tsunami, the continuing competitiveness of many of its leading firms, and even its struggles to come to terms with its past history provide important insights beyond the Japanese context.

Following Dr. Westney’s presentation, the panel will discuss the question “Can we learn from Japan today?”

About Eleanor Westney

Eleanor Westney is currently Visiting Professor in International Business at Aalto School of Business in Helsinki and the emerita Scotiabank Professor of International Business at the York University Schulich School of Business. She spent 25 years at the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management, where she still teaches as Professor Emerita. She has written extensively on Japanese organizations, on the internationalization of R&D, and on institutional theory and multinational enterprise.


  • Mary Yoko Brannen (University of Victoria)
  • Gary Knight (Willamette University)
  • Masao Nakamura (University of British Columbia)
  • Tom Roehl (Western Washington University) 

This event is part of the 2015-2016 "Japan and the Other" seminar series organized by Dr. Mary Yoko Brannen, the Jarislowsky East Asia (Japan) Chair at the Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives. This year the series will focus on Japanese business presence in other Asian cultural contexts.


Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives