Publications : Books by Konosuke Matsushita


About the Author
Konosuke Matsushita, the founder of Panasonic, was born in 1894 in Wakayama, the youngest of eight children of a wealthy farming family. When he was four, his father lost the family property as a consequence of speculation on the rice exchange. At the age of nine, the young Konosuke was obliged to leave home to take up an apprenticeship in Osaka. As an apprentice, he learned the basics of business. Observing the vital role that electric streetcars played in urban life, he sensed the arrival of the age of electricity and decided to join an electric power company when he was fifteen. As an extension to his work, he dedicated himself to the improvement of light sockets. In 1918, when only twenty-three, he founded Matsushita Electric (now the Panasonic Group). Profoundly affected by the disorder and confusion that gripped Japan in the immediate aftermath of World War II, in 1946 he founded the PHP Institute to promote peace and happiness through prosperity. In the context of PHP’s activities, he also established the Matsushita Institute of Government and Management (MIGM) in 1980 to develop future Japanese leaders. In 1982, he provided the endowment for the Japan Prize, now regarded as Japan’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize. Until his death at the age of 94 on April 27, 1989, Mr. Matsushita maintained a keen interest not only in his global industrial empire but also in humanitarian projects. His philosophy of corporate management is highly idealistic as well as pragmatic and is infused with a fervent sense of mission. Always people-centered, it is grounded in his down-to-earth, realistic understanding of human nature.


New Releases


Career Essentials

The century that Konosuke Matsushita’s life (1894-1989) nearly spanned was a tumultuous period for Japan and the world. He faced many difficulties and hardships in rapidly changing times, and he threw himself completely into every endeavor he undertook to overcome each challenge.

Konosuke once remarked, “There is one thing I can say about my entire life and career: from the time I started as an apprentice to when I went to work at the Osaka Electric Light Company, and from the moment I began my independent business career, I not only performed my work sincerely, conscientiously, and to the best of my abilities, but I enjoyed what I was doing and achieved a great sense of fulfillment.”

The 38 essays in this volume will help you discover ways to successfully develop your career by enjoying your business life and devoting yourself to it. They are all themes that Konosuke spoke about to the employees of Panasonic throughout his business career.

 

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Nurturing Dreams-My Path in Life

Handicapped by poor health, lack of formal schooling, and the early loss of his parents and siblings, Konosuke Matsushita seemed destined for loneliness and misfortune, yet he managed to rise above these obstacles and carve a place for himself in the world of business. Out of his varied experience and travails grew a humanistic philosophy of life that he strove to put into practice throughout the years.

Many of the anecdotes contained in this autobiography reflect the background of postwar Japan and its industrialization within the global economy. The fundamental spirit and ideals expressed are universal and should provide food for thought for readers of any background.

 

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Practical Management Philosophy
Practical Management Lessons from the Founder of Panasonic

“This collection sets forth my management principles, or my management philosophy; that is, my basic thoughts on how to manage an enterprise based on 60 years of experience and lessons learned. The term “management philosophy” sounds perhaps a bit grandiose, as this work is neither the result of disciplined academic study nor a systematically developed treatise. Rather, it is a compilation of practical lessons which, in my experience, will surely create the foundations for success for any company that builds its management upon them.” (from the Preface)

 

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My Way of Life and Thinking
The Early Entrepreneurial Life of the Founder of Panasonic

In the late autumn of 1904, Japan was caught up in the Russo- Japanese War. All alone, a nine-year-old boy left his hometown for Osaka to begin an apprenticeship. His mother, in tears, watched him board the train at Kinokawa Station in Wakayama. Her lonely form as the train pulled out of the station was a scene that was to be deeply engraved in his mind forever. His first days on his own began. Struggling in the big city, he lived through his days with hope for the future.

This was the start of the career of Konosuke Matsushita, who went on to live out a life filled with lofty aspirations.

In 1918, 23-year-old Matsushita set up his own business and began working on his own inventions. Relentlessly pursuing innovation in products and management, that tiny workshop grew into the global corporation we know today as Panasonic.

My Way of Life and Thinking is the self-told story of one of the most outstanding entrepreneurs of the 20th century. No ordinary autobiography, this inspirational volume provides insight into Matsushita’s approach to life and philosophy of management and is a testimony to his lifelong pursuit of entrepreneurship, leadership and an idealistic vision that began at an early age. The implications of his story are powerfully relevant today to people seeking to question what it is to live a meaningful life.

 

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Konosuke Matsushita
The Principles of Success

 This volume presents 105 principles drawn from the massive body of Konosuke Matsushita’s writing, interviews, tapes of speeches, and other materials from his 94-year (1894-1989) life, from the time he founded a workshop made up of three people to its growth into one of the world’s largest enterprises. All these principles, whether regarding business, work, or life in general, are those that have proven practical and effective in achieving success.


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The Heart of Management

 

How did Konosuke Matsushita concretely deal with the full range of functional areas and concepts of corporate management, including basic management principles, organization, product development, production, sales, accounting, and personnel? This volume attempts to answer that question by presenting a compendium of good management. It is a carefully considered selection of Matsushita’s thought on these issues, designed to provide a reliable compass for negotiating the route to management success even in the most difficult of business.


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Not for Bread Alone

This work presents a selection of 71 essays culled from experiences described in four books Matsushita published in Japanese. Encapsulating the essence of Japanese management and presenting the author’s business ethos and management ethic, Not for Bread Alone is the ideal reference for anyone running a business. It provides a balanced and thoughtful look at the ethical and business issues facing every manager today. This is the very first English book by Konosuke Matsushita.


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Quest for Prosperity

This autobiography is a compilation of reports written between 1935 and 1976.

Starting with his days as an apprentice in a brazier shop, Konosuke Matsushita reflects on the experiences which led him to develop the managerial tools and synoptic vision that made him so successful. Often referred to as “The ideal manager,” Matsushita chronicles his career as a journey of discovery. He was convinced that a commitment to humanistic goals, a willingness to face facts, attention to detail, and an ability to listen were more important for success than individual talent. Quest for Prosperity will inspire readers with the dynamic power of a management vision that is rooted in a deep understanding of human nature and society.


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Konosuke Matsushita : Guidelines for Successful Business

Divided into five groups, the excerpts from Matsushita’s writings collected in this book focus on the nuts and bolts of basic business practice, good habits and attitudes to cultivate on the job, business secrets that reflect the larger picture of human wisdom, peculiarly his moments with a truth to tell, and insights about working with people.

Each story offers useful hints not only in dealing with management challenges but for life in general.


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Konosuke Matsushita : Guidelines for Leaders

This collection of anecdotes and reflections will provide valuable insights for everyone in positions of leadership or responsibility, from foreman to CEO. Divided into five groups, these excepts from Matsushita’s writings focus on cultivating good relationships with employees, the kind of attitudes and discipline that make for effective leadership, the role and character of the corporate organization, behests for responsible managers, and the eternal task of learning on the job.


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Konosuke Matsushita : Knacks for Management

Konosuke Matsushita was known for his outstanding knack for management, and the anecdotes and opinions recorded in this volume contain advice and experience that has stood the test of time. His stories in this book speak to many of weaknesses managers need to overcome and the hurdles they must face.


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Konosuke Matsushita : Corporate Social Responsibility

The essays included here reflect Konosuke Matsushita’s convictions on topics ranging from the many ways industry can help improve living conditions in local communities and environment, to people-to-people diplomacy, the benefits of sensible competition, perspectives on natural resources, and even ideas on integrating ex-convicts back into society.


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Matsushita Konosuke (1894-1989)
His Life & His Legacy

A Collection of Essays in Honor of the Centenary of His Birth

The founder of the Panasonic Group passed away on April 27, 1989. He gave himself body and soul to managing the companies from the time he started his own business at the age of 23. He had left school to make his living in the world when he was only 9 years old, and it was in 1973, exactly 70 years later, that he resigned as chairman to become executive adviser. However, even after retiring from the day-to-day management responsibilities of the group, he continued to work with undiminished enthusiasm to support the development of his companies in his capacity as founder. Since the year of 1994 marked the centenary of Konosuke Matsushita’s birth, it is a fitting time to look back on the man and his legacy.


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The Million-Dollar Knack for Successful Management

Born in a small farming village in rural Wakayama, Konosuke Matsushita was forced to leave school at the age of nine for an apprenticeship in Osakabecause of his family’s poverty. At twenty-three, he set up his own business and began working on his own inventions. Relentlessly pursuing innovation in products and management, that tiny workshop grew into the global corporation we know today as Panasonic.

Known as the “God of Management” in Japan, Matsushita's business books  have sold more than 18 million copies in Japanalone.

The Million-Dollar Knack for Successful Management summarizes Matsushita’s timeless essentials of the knack of management gleaned from more than sixty years of business experience. As you will learn from Matsushita, “Grasping the knack of management is worth a million dollars.”

 

Japanese(日本語ページ)


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Career Essentials

The century that Konosuke Matsushita’s life (1894-1989) nearly spanned was a tumultuous period for Japan and the world. He faced many difficulties and hardships in rapidly changing times, and he threw himself completely into every endeavor he undertook to overcome each challenge.

Konosuke once remarked, “There is one thing I can say about my entire life and career: from the time I started as an apprentice to when I went to work at the Osaka Electric Light Company, and from the moment I began my independent business career, I not only performed my work sincerely, conscientiously, and to the best of my abilities, but I enjoyed what I was doing and achieved a great sense of fulfillment.”

The 38 essays in this volume will help you discover ways to successfully develop your career by enjoying your business life and devoting yourself to it. They are all themes that Konosuke spoke about to the employees of Panasonic throughout his business career.

 

Japanese(日本語ページ)


more