Tokyo Electron Ltd.

Posted: 24 Jun 2009

See all articles by Willy Shih

Willy Shih

Harvard Business School

Andrew A. King

Questrom School of Business- Boston University

Date Written: May 26, 2009


Tokyo Electron Ltd. operates in a constrained innovation environment, defined by modular boundaries that are long standing in the industry that it serves, the global semiconductor manufacturing industry. While the original motivation for these boundaries was division of labor and partitioning of a complex problem into manageable pieces, the company is now faced with a new innovation that crosses these boundaries and offers the opportunity to significantly improve the yield and performance of the manufacturing process. While the technical solution is straightforward, it is not clear that the company's customers are prepared to accept such a change because it would cross organizational lines that manufacturers have established for control purposes. The case frames the technical question and poses the organizational question.

Suggested Citation

Shih, Willy and King, Andrew A., Tokyo Electron Ltd. (May 26, 2009). HBS Case No. 609-096, Harvard Business School Technology & Operations Mgt. Unit, Available at SSRN:

Willy Shih (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School ( email )

Boston, MA 02163
United States


Andrew A. King

Questrom School of Business- Boston University ( email )

Boston, MA 02215
United States

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