Abstract: Reconsidering the Innovations in the Meiji Cotton Spinners' Growth Strategy for Global Competition

Eugene K. Choi


From the beginning of the 1890s, cotton spinning stood out as the most competitive sector in the Meiji economy. It was the first industry in Japanese business history to adopt full-scale mechanization and, more significantly, it was also in the forefront of international corporate formation. Success was a result of the outstanding entrepreneurial leadership of the top echelon of the Meiji industrial elite, which developed the early conceptualization of a pan-industrial growth strategy. The essence of this concept was the industrialists' determination to succeed in the upcoming global competition, a perspective that led to continuous innovation in a wide array of business practices. Innovation was not always technological; this essay focuses on the Meiji Japanese paradigm breakthrough as the quintessential innovation, derived from their clear business vision and evolving shared understanding of industrial competitiveness.

BEH On-Line Paper