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Bond University awards Honorary Doctorate to Japanese Management Guru

Management guru Dr Kenichi Ohmae, who is credited with introducing Japanese business strategies to the West, will today (Saturday, 16th February) be awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Bond University.

The accolade recognises Dr Ohmae’s illustrious career and his long association with the University stretching back to the late 1990s.

Dr Ohmae, known as “Mr Strategy”, initially trained as a nuclear scientist but early in his career joined the international management consulting firm McKinsey and Company.

He went on to become an early commentator on globalisation, has written more than 400 books, ran for governor of Tokyo, and led an investigation into meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear power plant following the tragic tsunami in 2011.

The Economist has described him as “the only internationally renowned Japanese guru who is known for his thinking about strategy rather than about operations”.

In 1998 Dr Ohmae established Business Breakthrough (BBT) and, with Bond University, he co-developed an MBA degree tailored to the needs of modern Japanese businesses

The innovative BBT Global Leadership MBA, which was launched in 2001 and is taught to company executives, has now produced more than 1100 graduates.

Bond University Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Tim Brailsford described Dr Ohmae as an “innovative force in international education”.

“For almost 20 years, Dr Ohmae has been a much-valued partner of Bond University and during this time he has forged strong and lasting relations between Australia and Japan,” Professor Brailsford said

“He has made significant, strong and consistent contributions to management thinking, corporate strategy and international business. Across both East and West, from CEOs of Fortune 500 companies to Government Ministers to University Presidents, when Kenichi speaks, leaders listen. 

“Bond is very proud to recognise Dr Ohmae’s contributions with this Honorary Doctorate.”

Dr Ohmae said: “I have been a part of the Bond Family for years. The Honorary Doctorate from Bond University is a huge surprise.

“I am indebted to the many people at Bond who believed in the BBT's Global Leadership MBA program and helped nurture its success,” he said.

“I hope we continue as the Bond-BBT family for many years to come and forge strong and lasting relationship to produce future global leaders.”

Dr Ohmae attended Waseda University (Bachelor of Science, 1966), the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Master of Science, 1968) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (PhD in Nuclear Engineering, 1970).

He joined Hitachi as a senior design engineer working on Japan's prototype fast breeder nuclear reactor but went to McKinsey in 1972, becoming a member of the Directors’ Committee from 1980 to 1994 and a member of its Executive Committee from 1980 until 1986.

He co-founded McKinsey’s strategic management practice and served companies in a wide spectrum of industries including industrial and consumer electronics, finance, telecommunications, food and chemicals.  His board appointments have included Nike and Soft Bank.

Dr Ohmae holds or has held several high-level academic appointments at some of the world’s leading educational institutions including Stanford University and UCLA.

In 1987, he received the Pio Manzu medal from the President of Italy for his contribution to management strategy.  Notre Dame University in the US awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Laws in 1995.

Dr Ohmae became Chairman of BBT last year and has been an Honorary Adjunct Professor at the Bond Business School since 2012.

He is also a Trustee of the university and is a familiar figure at Bond Business School Graduation ceremonies.

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