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A Prime Example–Marshall Students Explore Successful Entry by U.S. Firms

by Paula Korn

Sixteen of the 27 students in the 1997 “Managing in Japan” class in front of the East Imperial Garden in Tokyo.

A prototype of the PRIME program can be found in a graduate business course called “Managing in Japan: Entering the Japanese Market.” Koichi Mera, visiting professor of international business in the Marshall School, led the course this spring semester and soon will join the PRIME program as a full-time faculty member.

The course objective was to examine the characteristics of the Japanese business environment in general and to explore the ways through which American firms successfully penetrate the Japanese market. The 27 students studied such issues as: barriers foreign companies encounter while trying to enter the Japanese market and ways of overcoming them; product characteristics; examples of American firms in Japan; and lessons learned and winning strategies.

The second- and third-year students traveled to Tokyo on March 8-16, where they participated in a series of briefings, interviews and discussions. In addition to public agencies, such as the U.S. embassy, the group visited several American corporations, including Chrysler, Time Inc., Goldman Sachs, Compaq, Haagen Däzs, McDonald’s and Linc Media. They also visited Japanese corporations including Sony, Sanwa Bank, Honda and Seiyu, a retail chain. Students are now writing up final reports of their observations and making oral presentations before other classmates and invited executives.

A Prime Example–Marshall Students Explore Successful Entry by U.S. Firms

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