For U.S. Manufacturing, Opportunities and Challenges (WSJ)

Why Willy Shih of Harvard Business School says a domestic manufacturing renaissance won’t be easy to pull off

 News By : Margaret Nixon



Willy Shih, a professor of management at Harvard Business School, has spent more time in factories than in academia.

The son of Chinese immigrants, he grew up in Wisconsin and Illinois and earned a doctorate in chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Shih worked for 28 years in industry, including executive jobs at International Business Machines, Silicon Graphics and Eastman Kodak, before becoming a professor in 2007. He is also a director of Flextronics International, a Singapore-based global manufacturer, and advises the Manufacturing Academy of Denmark.

Using his inside knowledge of global supply chains, Dr. Shih writes and speaks frequently about the challenges facing the U.S. in rebuilding a manufacturing sector hollowed out by Asian competition. In a Harvard office decorated by his own photographs of factories and penguins, Dr. Shih spoke recently with The Wall Street Journal about manufacturing. Here are edited excerpts of that talk.

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