Session 2: Wednesday June 7, 2006
Case: Four Seasons Goes to Paris: “53 Properties, 24 Countries, 1 Philosophy” (HBS 9-803-069)
What has made Four Seasons successful over the last 30 years?
How do you feel about the way Four Seasons entered the Paris/French
market? What was good and/or bad about the entry strategy? Why?
Read: Note on Corporate Governance Systems: The United States, Japan, and Germany (HBS 9-292-012)
Case: Koito Manufacturing, Ltd. (HBS 9-291-027)
1. Why has Koito been targeted by Mr. Watanabe and T. Boone Pickens?
2. Is Pickens being treated unfairly by Koito’s management in his attempt to secure a seat on Koito’s board? Is there any justification for their resistance?
3. What are the major elements of the Japanese corporate governance system? In what important ways does it differ from corporate governance practices found in other parts of the world? What aspects, if any, do you find particularly admirable or objectionable?
4. Do Japanese keiretsu promote economic efficiency or restraint of trade? What financial advantages and/or disadvantages do they convey? Would you advocate the evolution of similar federations of
companies in other parts of the world?
5. Is Mr. T. Boone Pickens good for Japanese business?
Japanese shareholders? Should Japanese public authorities resist the emergence of hostile takeovers and related risk arbitrage operations?