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Working Paper: Case Study

Digital Innovation at Toyota Motor North America: Revamping the Role of IT

This case study reviews how Toyota’s IT unit established credibility for its efforts and fostered enthusiasm for digital innovation in the company.
By Paul Betancourt, John G. Mooney, and Jeanne W. Ross
CASE STUDY

An in-depth description of a firm’s approach to an IT management issue (intended for MBA and executive education)

Abstract

Recognizing that digital was changing the landscape for automobile manufacturers, the IT unit at Toyota Motor North America took a leadership role in introducing digital innovation into the company’s products and services. To instill a culture of innovation—beyond Toyota’s longstanding Kaizen practices—IT leaders first encouraged innovation within IT. As those efforts blossomed, the IT unit was able to reach out to other parts of the company. Toyota wanted to be ready to seize the opportunities presented by such diverse technological developments as autonomous driving, social analytics, and the Internet of Things. This case reviews the process by which the IT unit established credibility for its efforts and fostered enthusiasm for digital innovation throughout the company.

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About the Authors

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John G. Mooney, Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management

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Jeanne W. Ross, MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research (CISR)

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