Title: A global knowledge transfer network: the case of Toyota's global production support system

Authors: Y. Suh

Addresses: Department of Management, Graduate School of Economics, The University of Tokyo Sunflat #101, Sendagi 2-8-10, Bunkyoku, Tokyo, 112-0022, Japan

Abstract: In this paper, we discuss global knowledge transfer networks by examining Toyota's global production support system. We focus on three parts of Toyota's system: the mother plant, the operations management consulting division (OMCD) (seisan chosa shitsu), and the global production centre (GPC). The mother plant supports the production of foreign plants. The OMCD has a role in maintaining, diffusing, and providing education about the Toyota Production System (TPS), at both foreign and domestic sites. The GPC develops tools for training both foreign and domestic human resources. This paper argues that these systems work as a knowledge transfer network. We indicate that multiple organisational units can cooperate for effective knowledge transfer.

Keywords: knowledge transfer; overseas production; mother plant; Toyota Motor Company; Toyota production system; operations management consulting; global production centre; foreign plants; education; training; support systems.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPQM.2015.067765

International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, 2015 Vol.15 No.2, pp.237 - 251

Published online: 18 Apr 2015 *

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