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Multi-Hazard Disaster in Japan

Part of the Pentalemma Series on Managing Global Dilemmas

Dylan Scudder

Against the backdrop of an increasingly globalized business environment, this book provides readers with a pragmatic approach to international management of complex issues that arise from the tension between financial goals and social imperatives. If the challenge of management is making decisions in situations of uncertainty, Multi-Hazard Disaster in Japan is the ultimate test of finding business solutions in extremely volatile situations. Based on firsthand experience and years of rigorous research, this book leverages a real-world case of a global company responding to a historical mega-disaster to let readers experience defining moments of managing with limited information, time pressure and a dwindling budget. Almost as if "parachuting" into an escalating disaster scenario, readers form critical relationships with characters that introduce them to management tools and techniques they need to arrive at a successful conclusion. The excitement and intensity of Multi-Hazard Disaster in Japan equips business leaders of today and tomorrow with valuable know-how they can apply to the uncertainties of everyday business in an international context.

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3. Logical Thinking

Extract

Chapter Three

Logical Thinking

You have been advising BBJ since the huge earthquake and tsunami hit the northern coast of Kyushu four months ago. BBJ remains engaged in disaster relief, but the focus is changing toward the longer term. The Japanese government is considering major issues, such as the nature of a future economic framework for the area, together with supporting infrastructure, housing, etc.

There will be a lot of work to do, entailing major public investment and possible opportunities for BBJ. The question of whether BBJ wishes to be involved or not remains. At this stage, any participation would be for the long haul, with the company invited to take a serious stake in the future of this community.

Your own follow-up research reveals several important factors. A central concern for BBJ in this situation is its need for a new polythene plant to serve its Japanese operation. Had the Kyushu disaster not taken place, it seems likely that the plant would have been built on the main island of Honshu, closer to BBJ’s largest Japanese markets. Now, though, there is talk of large government subsidy for new industry in Kyushu, alongside the development of brand-new infrastructure. ←65 | 66→Therefore, the cost-benefit analysis for a new polythene plant will have changed. BBJ managers will need to think about these new factors as well as the broader principle of community engagement. It is entirely possible that building in Honshu remains the most...

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