Communication:Communication with Stakeholders
–Ricoh Group's environmental management incorporated into study materials at HBS–
Ricoh Group’s environmental management incorporated into study materials at HBS
- Global/Ricoh Group
Environmental management at the Ricoh Group has been incorporated into case study materials for the Advanced Management Program (AMP) at Harvard Business School (HBS) in Boston, in the United States.
AMP is an intensive course that runs six days a week for eight weeks, with formatted discussions covering the latest topics in business administration and using examples of excellent management at global corporations. Most of the students on the course are in managerial positions or on the fast track to management, and they stay in accommodation on the university campus during the course, which helps them develop relationships that can prove useful in their careers. Environmental management at Ricoh was selected as the first case study, when HBS decided to incorporate a case related to sustainability and management in 2010. In March 2009, Dr. Robert Eccles, Senior Lecturer at HBS, visited Japan with the purpose of collecting data in meetings with Ricoh’s president and CEO, executives in charge of finance and environment, and specialists at the Gotemba and Numazu Plants.
Work in the classroom finally started on May 18, 2010 with case materials prepared from the data collected by Dr. Eccles on his visit to Ricoh. Tatsuo Tani, the former general manager of the Corporate Environment Division at Ricoh, was invited to this first class.
The students consisted of 140 executives from 40 different countries. The night before the classroom session, the students were asked to read the materials on Ricoh and participate in preliminary group discussions; so they were well prepared. The students engaged in discussions packed with acute insight regarding Ricoh’s long-term environmental impact reduction goals for 2050 and the company’s environmental management activities. Student comments, such as, “Preempting social changes in 2050 is necessary for corporations,” and “We should do a better job of telling consumers and investors how environmental management is linked to improvements in competitive strength,” showed that the students had empathy with Ricoh’s environmental management. The discussions were very substantial and provided food for thought for Ricoh in our quest to raise the level of quality management.
*The case study materials prepared and used for the HBS class reported above have been compiled under the title “Ricoh Company, Ltd.” (Eccles, Robert G., Amy C. Edmondson, Marco Iansiti and Akiko Kanno. Harvard Business School, 2010), and are offered in a downloadable PDF format ($6.95) at the Harvard Business Review online store at: