Bridging the Gap of Uncertainty: A Fragmentary Case Study of Toyota’s Prius

  • Enno Berndt
  • André Metzner
Chapter

Abstract

Hybrids do not have it easy: depreciatingly described as “neither fish nor flesh” they lack both flair and confidence to become a future success. Classical business strategy; i.e. profit maximisation and rational planning theory (Whittington 1994), labels hybrids as “lazy compromises”. This school of thought distances itself from an “all-in-one” strategy by clearly defining operational objectives, limiting workable options, and finally selecting optimal variations (Beinhocker 1999). The main feature is the innovation’s confrontation with risk: the entrepreneur, strategically aware, attempts to redesign the present in a goal-oriented, direct and fundamental way. Driven by a vision of leveraging the competitive balance in his favour, and of asserting himself against the stagnation of risk minimisation, he is oblivious to the costs arising from the destruction of mature competencies, resources and structures. His credo is one of strategic change. Therefore, a hybrid concept is deemed to be problematic; or the sub-optimal outcome of wavering, responsibility denial, blocking and wastefulness. In short: a non-strategic pseudo-business led by non-entrepreneurs.

Keywords

Combustion Europe Steam Radar Diesel 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Anderson, Ph. & Tushman, M. L. (1986), Technological Discontinuities and Organisational Environments, in: Administrative Science Quarterly 31: 439–465.Google Scholar
  2. Beckert, J. (1999), Agency, Entrepreneurs, and Institutional Change — The Role of Strategic Choice and Institutionalised Practices in Organisations, in: Organisation Studies 20, 5: 777–799.Google Scholar
  3. Beinhocker, E. D. (1999), Robust Adaptive Strategies, in: Sloan Management Review 40, 3: 95–106.Google Scholar
  4. Christensen, C. M. (1997), The Innovator’s Dilemma — When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail, Boston: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  5. Christensen, C. M. & Overdorf, M. (2000), Meeting the Challenge of Disruptive Change, in: Harvard Business Review, March-April: 66–76.Google Scholar
  6. Fujimoto, T. (1997), Seisan shisutemu no shinkaron [Theory of Evolution of Production Systems], Tokyo: Yuhikaku.Google Scholar
  7. Iemura, H. (1999), Prius toiu Yume [A Dream Named Prius], Tokyo: Futaba Corp.Google Scholar
  8. Ikari, Y. (1999), Haiburiddoka no Jidai [The Era of Hybridisation], Tokyo: Kojinsha.Google Scholar
  9. Katayama, O. (1998), Toyota no Höshiki [The Toyota System], Tokyo: Shogakukan.Google Scholar
  10. Kidd, P. T. (1999), Revolutionising New Product Development — A Blueprint for Success in the Global Automotive Industry, London: FT Management Report.Google Scholar
  11. Kühl, S. (2000), Das Regenmacher-Phänomen — Widersprüche und Aberglaube im Konzept der lernenden Organisation, Frankfurt, New York: Campus.Google Scholar
  12. Mintzberg, H. et al. (1998), Strategy Safari - A Guided Tour Through The Wilds of Strategic Management, New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  13. Naschold, F. et al. (1999), Vom Chandlerischen Unternehmensmodell zum Wintelismus?, Veröffentlichungsreihe papers Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, FS II 99–204.Google Scholar
  14. Nihon Keizai Shimbun (1999), Toyota — “Okudaisumu” no Chösen [Toyota: The Challenge of the “Okudaismus”], Tokyo: Nihon Keizai Shimbunsha.Google Scholar
  15. Vester, F. (1995), Crashtest Mobilität — Die Zukunft des Verkehrs, München: Heyne.Google Scholar
  16. Vester, F. (1999), Die Kunst vernetzt zu denken — Ideen und Werkzeuge für einen neuen Umgang mit Komplexität, Stuttgart: DVA.Google Scholar
  17. Waschke, Th. et al. (1999), Perspectives of Mobility in Future Societies, in: Zero or Near Zero Emissions? Congress Proceeedings, 2–3 September 1999, Graz: 87–101.Google Scholar
  18. Weber, M. et al. (1999), Experimenting with Sustainable Transport Innovations — A Workbook for Strategic Niche Management, Seville, Entschede: Institute for Prospective Technological Studies.Google Scholar
  19. Weick, K. (1985), Sense Making in Organisations, London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. Whittington, R. (1994), What is Strategy and Does it Matter?, London: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enno Berndt
  • André Metzner

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations