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last posted April 21, 2014, 7:07 a.m.
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Kyocera's Amoeba Management

"I earnestly longed for a business partner with whom I could share the joys and sorrows of work, as well as the heavy responsibilities of management. This led me to divide the company into small, organized units, which I called "amoebas." Leaders selected from within the company were entrusted with the management of individual amoebas. In this way, I developed many leaders with the managerial awareness — in other words, business partners." — Dr. Kazuo Inamori

Three objectives of Amoeba Management:

Establish a Market-Oriented Divisional Accounting System

The fundamental principle for managing a company is to maximize revenues and minimize expenses. To implement this principle throughout a company, the organization is divided into many small accounting units that can promptly respond to market changes.

Foster Personnel with a Sense of Management

Divide the organization into small units as necessary, and rebuild it as a unified body of discrete enterprises. Entrust the management of these units to amoeba leaders in order to foster personnel with a sense of management.

Realize Management by All

Realize "management by all," where all employees can combine their efforts to participate in management for the development of the company, as well as work with a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

How is an Amoeba organization structured?

Simply subdividing an organization into small units is not sufficient.

It is not an overstatement to say that the major points outlined here will determine the success or failure of Amoeba Management.

The issue is how to subdivide a complex corporate organization into amoeba units. A good understanding of the true state of the business is essential, and the organizations must be subdivided accordingly.

In my view, there are three conditions that must be met when dividing an organization into successful amoeba units:

  1. Amoebas must have clearly definable revenues and cost of sales in order that they can be fiscally self-supporting.

  2. Amoebas must be self-contained business units.

  3. Subdivision of the organization must support the goals and objectives of the company as a whole.

An amoeba can exist as an independent unit only if these three conditions are met. It is not an overstatement to say that the formation of amoeba units determines the success or failure of Amoeba Management.