About the Porter Prize

The Porter Prize was established to bestow recognition on Japanese companies that have achieved and maintained superior profitability in a particular industry by implementing unique strategies based on innovations in products, processes, and ways of managing. The name of the award is derived from Professor Michael E. Porter of Harvard University, a leading authority on strategy with a longstanding interest in Japan.


The Porter Prize was established to recognize outstanding Japanese companies and to enhance the competitiveness of Japanese industries.

Japanese companies enjoyed substantial cost and quality advantages for many years, triggered by a global revolution in operational effectiveness, which they led in the l970s and l980s through practices such as total quality management (TQM) and continuous improvement (KAIZEN).

But in recent years, the limits of the current model of competition have become increasingly evident. Today, Japanese companies must move beyond just quality competition to competing based on strategy and innovation. Japanese companies will need to develop distinctive strategies that result in true profitability in order to regain the nation's competitiveness.

About Professor Porter

Professor Michael E. Porter Professor Michael E. Porter is the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard University, based at Harvard Business School. A University Professorship is the highest professional recognition that can be given to a Harvard faculty member. He is the fourth faculty member in Harvard Business School history to earn this distinction.

Professor Porter is the leading authority on competitive strategy and international competitiveness. He is the author of 16 books and over 75 articles, including such seminal works as Competitive Strategy:

Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors (1980),
The Competitive Advantage of Nations (1990),
and Can Japan Compete? (2000)

He has also served as an advisor to many companies and government bodies in the United States and abroad. Professor Porter has won numerous awards for his teaching and research and holds eight honorary degrees.

Professor Porter and Hitotsubashi University

Professor Porter's relationship with Hitotsubashi University dates back to the early 1980s, when he conducted joint research on Japan with a Hitotsubashi team as part of a larger study, which was published in Professor Porter's 1990 book, "The Competitive Advantage of Nations". Professor Porter's recent book, "Can Japan Compete?", which also involved joint research with Hitotsubashi, challenges long-held views about the sources of Japan's economic miracle and offers a new approach to competing based on strategy as the path for the future. The book, which was selected as one of the top three non-fiction books of 2000 by The Economist, was co-authored by Hirotaka Takeuchi of Hitotsubashi University.

How was the Porter Prize established?

Professor Porter has had a relationship with Hitotsubashi University for almost 20 years. He was invited to be the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony of its newly established Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy (ICS) in 2000. The Professor made two trips to Tokyo on behalf of Hitotsubashi University that year, once in April at the opening of ICS' evening programs taught in Japanese and in October at the opening of its day-time programs taught entirely in English.

Professor Porter has donated his time for these speeches and for many other joint efforts over the years. The Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy at Hitotsubashi University proposed to establish a new prize in appreciation of Professor Porter's generosity and in support of his life-long dedication to the development of the theory and practice of competitive strategy.

What is ICS' role?

The Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) established the Deming Prize in 1951. Fifty years later, Hitotsubashi University's Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy (ICS) is establishing the Porter Prize.

ICS will serve as the organizing body for the Porter Prize, the same role JUSE has been playing for the last 50 years.

What makes the Porter Prize different from other awards?

The Porter Prize will be awarded to Japanese companies and business units that have competed successfully using a distinctive strategy.

Since the essence of strategy is doing different things from others, the prize will recognize those companies and business units that have deliberately chosen to compete in a distinctive way in a particular industry by delivering a unique value proposition, based on innovations in products, processes, and methods of management. This singular focus on strategy and innovation is what sets the Porter Prize apart from the other awards presented in Japan.

Porter Prize of other countries