Faculty of Business Administration

Visiting Scholar Seminar

A Comparison of “Low-Tech” Apple and “High-Tech” Sony

Professor Masaaki Kotabe
The Washburn Chair Professor of International Business and Marketing

Date:          12 November, 2019 (Tuesday)

Time:         10:00 a.m. ~ 12:00 noon

Venue:       E22-2007


My talk is not based on any narrowly confined typical research paper, but rather based on some empirical observations from an amalgam of economic data, R&D spending, patent statistics, patent laws as well as case examples (Apple and Sony).  It is designed to explain why the rapid use of technology, or even imitation, is becoming more important than the development / ownership of technology for firms to build their competitive advantage.  Over the years, R&D investment (technology development) has been considered a driving force for firms’ competitive advantage.  However, in the last 20 years, this logic seems to have been gradually crumbling down, silently superseded by firms’ ability to swiftly exploit an existing stock of their competitors’ knowledge as well as their own and mass-market and mass-distribute their products (technology use).  As the climate of the time has changed, we may be in need for a new theory to explain this paradigm shift.


Masaaki “Mike” Kotabe holds the Washburn Chair Professorship in International Business and Marketing at the Fox School of Business at Temple University.  Prior to joining Temple University in 1998, he was Ambassador Edward Clark Centennial Endowed Fellow and Professor of Marketing and International Business at the University of Texas at Austin.  He has lectured widely at various business schools in 20 countries around the world. For his research, he has worked closely with leading companies such as AT&T, Kohler, NEC, Nissan, Philips, Sony, and Seven&i Holdings (parent of 7-Eleven stores), and served as advisor to the United Nations’ and World Trade Organization’s Executive Forum on National Export Strategies. Dr. Kotabe also served as President of the Academy of International Business in 2016-7.

Dr. Kotabe has written more than 100 scholarly publications in such journals as Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Marketing, Strategic Management Journal, and Academy of Management Journal.  His books include Global Sourcing Strategy (1992), Anticompetitive Practices in Japan (with Kent W. Wheiler, 1996), MERCOSUR and Beyond (1997), Marketing Management, 3rd ed. (with Michael R. Czinkota 2005), Market Revolution in Latin America (with Ricardo Leal, 2001), Emerging Issues in International Business Research (with Preet Aulakh, 2002), Global Supply Chain Management (with Michael J. Mol, 2006), Global Marketing Management, 8th ed. (with Kristiaan Helsen, 2020).

Dr. Kotabe serves as the Editor of the Journal of International Management, and also serves / has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of International Business Studies, the Journal of International Marketing, the Journal of World Business, the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Advances in International Management, the Journal of Business Research, and the Thunderbird International Business Review, among others.

Dr. Kotabe was elected a Fellow of the Academy of International Business in 1998 and a Fellow of the Japan Academy of International Business Studies in 2017, for his significant contribution to international business research and education.  He is the recipient of the 2002 Musser Award for Excellence in Research at Temple University.