COE Dynamics of knowledge, Corporate System and Innovation
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●Message from the Research Program leader  Professor Hiroyuki Itami

Historical transformations of major proportions are occurring in the world of the 21st century. At an ever-accelerating pace, the nature of industrial society itself is changing from production-based industries to knowledge-based industries, not only making innovation the very dynamic for new industry creation but also the source for greater competitiveness in existing industries. Ultimately, the source of this innovation is knowledge, and so corporate systems, as well as making efforts to create knowledge, are also playing the central role in the actualization of a society that links innovation to knowledge.

Therefore, the interactive dynamics between knowledge, corporations, and innovation are extremely important, and as such, our core research initiatives, while addressing the extremely pressing needs of present-day Japanese society, are grappling with themes that have an even wider meaning in the academic world.

In this field of study, Hitotsubashi University already leads both the world and Japanese academic communities in accumulated research achievements. Henceforth, through the activities of this core initiative program, and together with forming a functional, world-class, international research hub---as well as a transmission base for Japan-generated, theoretical outcomes---we intend to construct a proactive transmission channel of research where results will be directed towards the business community and society at large. Broadly speaking, we aim to nurture the “Face of Japan” by bringing about a forum of exchange for business professionals through a research program that serves as a center for business research that disseminates its findings to the world-at-large.

From the accumulation of such extensive and far-reaching research, our hope is that these contributions will further the development of business schools in Japan. Our own Graduate School of Commerce and Management, which is the centerpiece of this program, initiated an MBA course-of-study in 2000. Likewise, in the same year, the Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy also started an MBA-program as a professional graduate school. First and foremost, business school education, on the whole, becomes significant when it has superior research. This core initiative’s research findings will not only provide feedback for education at both the Masters and Executive levels within the two aforementioned research departments but also play an even more important role in the development of a model business school of research and education within Japan.

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