Eugene Choi

Profie photo of Eugene Choi

Professor / Associate Dean

Ph.D., University of Cambridge

Email:
eugene [at] fc.ritsumei.ac.jp (Replace "[at]" with "@")
Office Location:
AC5303
Office Hours:
Tuesday 15:00-16:00 (All office hours are conducted via Zoom until further notice.)

Education

  • Ph.D., M.Phil., University of Cambridge
  • MBA, CASS Business School, University of London

I did my first undergraduate degree (BA) in Economics at Waseda University, and this was followed by my 1st graduate degree (MBA) in Strategy and International Business (Cass Business School, London). A couple of more graduate degrees, M.Phil. (in Management Studies and in Economic & Social History), and Ph.D. (Doctoral Degree in Business History) were awarded at University of Cambridge. After I took MBA in London, I joined Samsung Corporation and served the Group CEO’s secretarial office in charge of corporate education and strategic human resource development. After Ph.D., I have been teaching and running seminars in the subjects of business, history, and academic skills in UK (Cambridge, Cranfield), South Korea (Yonsei, Sungkyunkwan), Taiwan (National Tsinghua), Thailand (Chulalongkorn), Singapore (SUSS), and Japan (Hitotsubashi, Gakushuin, and Ritsumeikan).

Message to Students

GLA will provide you with the first truly global active learning foundation to build up your new intellectual caliber. In the age of making proactive symbiosis with Artificial Intelligence, you should be more than being "knowledgeable." Human intelligence still remains the nucleus of the value creation, however, the new leadership of innovation in the Asia-Pacific epoch will ask more from you, and GLA will let you meet and go beyond the global demand. Stay confident and trust yourself, your colleagues and professors. Life is once, no regret should we make. Let's move forward and learn together.

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to GLA I & II
  • Knowledge & Innovation
  • Social & Technological Innovation
  • Leadership in Global Perspective
  • Internship I & II
  • Research Seminar I & II
  • Thesis

I am in charge of the following 10 GLA courses: Knowledge & Innovation, Social & Technological Innovation, Introduction to GLA I (Critical Thinking) & Introduction to GLA II (Ethical Thinking), Leadership in Global Perspective, Internship I & II, Research Seminar I & II, and Thesis. Both Introduction to GLA I and II deliver the foundational disciplines of liberal arts, and my teaching focuses on the social science perspectives. Knowledge and Innovation deals with the theory of knowledge and the nature of technology and innovation. Whilst Leadership comes up with a wide array of theories and case studies from global perspective, Internship I and II will provide the students with practical experience of learning by doing in the real field.

Research Interests

Technology, Knowledge & Innovation Management, Entrepreneurship, Business History, Business Philosophy, Moral & Global Capitalism, Kyocera, Kazuo Inamori, Korean Business Groups (Hyundai-Kia), Competitive Strategy (e.g. Engineering-Driven, Art-Driven, and Moral-Driven), Triple Helix (State-Industry-University Collaboration, State Enterprise).

My research engagements so far have been threefold as follows.

The first resides in the realm of global entrepreneurial management of technology, including technology choice, technology transfer, and technology branding. Since a close examination of every context of technological development is vital to understand the entrepreneurial nature of technology management, historical analysis is central to my first theme of study. From my PhD thesis (Technology Choices in the Meiji Spinning Industry) to one of the most recent works of Inamori project, viz. "Innovation within Tradition: Creativity at the Intersection of Craft & Science at Kyocera Corporation." (EGOS OS Kyoto 2019; EGOS 2020, with Roy Suddaby and Charles Harvey), I have looked at a few case studies of particular technologies, their dominantly evolutionary path-dependencies, and some specific exceptions of deviances as well. The historical analysis becomes even more essential to reason those irregularities or unexpected deviances in every context of technological development.

References

  • Choi, Eugene K. (2009) "Entrepreneurial Leadership in the Meiji Cotton Spinner's Early Conceptualisation of Global Competition.", Business History, Vol.51, No.6, 927-958.
  • Choi, Eugene K. (2010) "Reconsidering the Innovations in the Meiji Cotton Spinners' Growth Strategy for Global Competition.", Business and Economic History On-Line, Vol.8 URL: http://www.thebhc.org/publications/BEHonline/2010/choi.pdf(October2010)."l
  • Choi, Eugene K. (2012) 'The Genesis of Modern Management of Technology: The Case of the Meiji Cotton Spinning Sector in Globalization, the 1880s-1890s', in Umemura M. and Fujioka, R. (eds.) Comparative Responses to Globalisation: Experiences of British and Japanese Enterprises, Palgrave Macmillan UK and USA, 99-120.

My second theme has always been engaged with the very "human" side or element of entrepreneurial management, that is, with how a specific entrepreneur's beliefs, values, and tenets formed her/his extraordinary business calibres to make managerial and technological breakthroughs. Regarding this approach, I hypothesise that the crux of so-called strategic management, whether it is a competitive strategy or corporate strategy, should be derived from, rather than a lucid and neat continuum of rational thinking, those philosophical spheres of values and valuation in decision makings(e.g. AOM2020, The New Nature of Competitive Strategy & Creativity in Moral Economy, with Daniel R. Wadhwani, University of Southern California).

This research interest drove me to get involved intensively with the research project of Kazuo Inamori since 2015. We learned that it would be crucial to develop a more multidisciplinary and historical research approach to the origin of their unique corporate culture and its connexion with entrepreneurial performance. Before my Kyocera Research Project, I have looked at a few particular case studies of innovation and business breakthroughs, achieved by Tadashi Yanai's Fast Retailing Company (well known for its global flagship brand, UNIQLO). In tandem, Professors Kimio Kase (IESE, Spain) and Ikujiro Nonaka (Hitotsubashi ICS, Japan) and I are currently investigating the philosophical foundation of Inamori's entrepreneurship via a book project with Palgrave Macmillan.

References

  • Choi, Eugene K. (2011) "The Rise of UNIQLO: Leading Paradigm Change in Fashion Business and Distribution in Japan.", Entreprises et Histoire, No.64 (Septembre 2011), 1-17.
  • Choi, Eugene K. (2014) 'UNIQLO and Tadashi Yanai', Yu, Fu-Lai Tony and Yan, Ho-Don (eds.) Routledge Handbook of East Asian Entrepreneurship: Concepts & Cases, Routledge UK and USA, 240-251.
  • Kase, Kimio, Choi, Eugene K. and Nonaka, Ikujiro (Publishing Schedule: December 2021) Kazuo Inamori's Management Praxis and Philosophy: A Response to the Profit-Maximisation Paradigm, Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore, UK and USA.

Another critical field of my research interest exists in the common nature and distinct differences between Japanese and Korean entrepreneurial management from the perspective of strategic management, especially of competitive strategy, and this is the third theme of my current and future research for sure. Regarding my study of Korean cases, there are three essential keywords; business groups (or conglomerates or Chaebols, such as Samsung Group and Hyundai-Kia Group), Korean logic of corporate diversification and portfolio manoeuvres, and "compressed catch-up” competitive strategy. A remarkable instance was Hyundai-Kia's strategic manoeuvre of design-driven approach since the 2000s (car styling both exterior and interior, chassis and platform styling), which allowed them to enhance not only product values of sensibility in the global market but also their in-house engineering capabilities. I somehow made one journal publication in 2015 and am planning to resume this work shortly. This research on car styling has been driven by my interest and passion for car design as an art.

Refrences

  • Oh, D.H., Choi, C.J., and Choi, Eugene (1998) "The Globalization Strategy of Daewoo Motor Company”, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Vol.15, 185-203.
  • Choi, Eugene K. (2016) ‘Formation of Industrial Complexes in South Korea in the 1960s and 1970s: Reconsidering Entrepreneurial State in Asia', in Felisini, D., Reassessing the Role of Management in the Golden Age: An International Comparison of Public Sector Managers 1945-1975 (Central Issues in Contemporary Economic Theory & Policy), Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Choi, Eugene K. (2015) "Hyundai's Dynamics of Styling-Driven Capability Development: A Historical Analysis of the 1970s -the 1990s", International Journal of Automotive Technology & Management, Vol.15, No.3, 292-310.

See more on Ritsumeikan University Researchers Database.

Supervision Information

I will be happy to supervise any GLA students, interested in research on (1) Innovation, Knowledge and Technology Management, (2) Management Studies Overall (esp. Strategic Management, Global Marketing & Branding, Entrepreneurship, Business Modelling & New Product Development), (3) Organisation Theory (esp. Institutionalism), (4) Economic / Business History, and (5) Business Philosophy (esp. Japanese business leaders') in the age of Moral and Global Capitalism.

Representative Publications

To be added.