October 13, 2010

Extreme Toyota

Radical Contradictions that Drive Success at the World's Best Manufacturer
By: Emi Osono, Norihiko Shimizu, Hirotaka Takeuchi, with John Kyle Dorton
320 pp.
John Wiley & Sons 2008
Review by: Tyler Lacoma

Toyota is defined by contradictions. The auto company has a famously efficient production system, but appears to have heavy layers of management and a surplus of administrative employees. It has a stable history stretching back more than 70 years, but frequently acts as though its business practices need immediate attention and that nothing is good enough. Toyota is known as a careful and steady investor, but also spends billions of dollars suddenly on experiments and R&D.

According to Extreme Toyota these contradictions reveal the truth behind one of the most successful auto companies in the world. Toyota embraces contradictions and uses the controlled chaos to propel itself forward into new markets and generations of technology. This balancing act is seen in six primary forces that affect Toyota's growth and management practices.

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