'the Honda Effect

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Question 1: What are the key differences between these two accounts of Honda’s entry into the US motorcycle market?

The Boston Consulting (BCG) Report suggested that Honda entered the US motorcycle market with the plan approach. Advanced planning which was tailor-made for the US market was prepared before entering the country. On the other hand, Richard Pascale's report, which consists of an interview with the top management of Honda at that time, showed that Honda entered the US market successfully with their experience in the Japanese market, i.e. the emergent approach. The success was not brought by localized planning on the entry.

Question 2: To what extent was Honda’s apparent strategy deliberate and/or emergent?

As observed from Honda’s key successful area, it can be found that the success came from chance to a larger extent and not closely related to its well-planning. Honda had a detailed plan on the entry to the US market with some clear targets on achievement. However, the plan was affected by local competitors, market development and the Japanese government, which hindered them from achieving their targets. As a result, we may conclude that emergent strategy contributed to a larger extent to Honda’s entry.

Question 3: What key lessons may be learned from any comparison of these two quite different accounts of the same strategic decision?

From the case study, we may observe that strategy is an evolutionary process. Strategy cannot be implemented successfully only with well-planning. It also needs interactivity with the reality. We plan & establish our strategy with cognition only sometimes. However, it is more appropriate to consider the environmental impact and make interactive adjustment from time to time. We should also monitor the environmental change closely to make respective adjustments at the right time.
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