This is the first of a three-part series that discusses the management philosophy of Kazuo Inamori, founder and chairman emeritus of Kyocera Corp.

Kazuo Inamori, chairman emeritus of Kyocera Corp., established the company from scratch and expanded it into the world’s No. 1 ceramic maker. He also launched KDDI, which became the nation’s second-largest telecom firm, out of his motivation to offer low-cost telecommunication services to consumers. He took charge of rebuilding the failed Japan Airlines without any financial compensation — out of his wish to do good for people and society — and transformed it into an airline with the world’s top-level profitability. He is widely known as a businessperson representative of Japan.

Inamori’s business management has characteristics completely different from others’ — in that he places a set of philosophical and ethical norms — called Inamori philosopy — at the foundation of his management. On the basis of this philosophy, he developed and practised a management system that fully takes into account how people’s mind reacts — a system that pursues not the profits or share prices of the company but the material and mental happiness of all the employees as its primary objective.