September 28, 2018
  • Rakuten, Inc.

Rakuten to Establish Rakuten People and Culture Lab

The new research institute aims to develop innovative theories on organizational development and corporate culture

Tokyo, September 28, 2018 - Rakuten, Inc. today announced that it will establish the “Rakuten People and Culture Lab,” a new Rakuten Group research institute focusing on human resources and organizational development, on October 1.

Since its launch in 1997 with just six staff, Rakuten has grown and expanded globally to become a highly diverse organization with over 16,000 employees. Following the entrepreneurial spirit of its founding, the company has introduced a variety of initiatives to create a unique corporate culture, such as introducing frameworks for sharing information throughout the company, establishing English as the group's official language through the Englishnization policy, and creating an open working environment that supports the health and welfare of its employees.

By establishing the Rakuten People and Culture Lab, the company aims to discover new insights and create innovative solutions regarding the relationships between organizations and individuals, as well as the future culture of the company. The institute’s Advisory Board is comprised of industry experts from a range of fields including global strategic human resources, people analytics, medicine, neuroscience, management science, linguistics and sports.

Going forward, the Rakuten People and Culture Lab will hold sessions with the Advisory Board, verify hypotheses based on Rakuten Group internal data and analyze the results, and collect and communicate the latest information on a global scale in order to establish innovative theories on human resource strategy and organizational development and corporate culture.

Outline of the Rakuten People and Culture Lab
Date of establishment: October 1, 2018
Representative: Tatsuo Hidaka
Representative Profile: After graduating from university in 2003, Hidaka joined the management consulting company Link and Motivation Inc. He managed multiple organizational restructuring projects for major corporations and was promoted to executive officer in 2010. Hidaka was seconded to Intec Japan Inc. (currently Link Global Solution Inc.) in 2012. After being promoted to executive officer in 2014, he was appointed as a director of the company just two years later. Throughout his career, Hidaka has been engaged in the development of global leaders and the organizations development consulting business, both in Japan and on the international stage. He also serves as a research associate at Waseda University’s Institute for Transnational Human Resource Management.

Hidaka joined Rakuten in January 2018. As General Manager of the Employee Engagement Department in the Corporate Culture Division, Hidaka is in charge of organizational development across the Group and globally and is responsible for embedding the corporate philosophy across the organization.

Research areas: Topics related to human resources, organizational development, and corporate culture
- Examples: Engagement, feeling pride in one’s company, employee value proposition (EVP), well-being, innovation, winning cultures, technology-driven cultures

Advisory Board (as of October 1, 2018):
- Larry Emond (Managing Director, Gallup)
- Yousuke Yagi (CEO, People First, Ltd.)
- Ryuji Nakatake (CEO, Teambox Inc.)
- Yoshiki Ishikawa (Public health researcher, Doctor of Medical Science)
- Susumu Nagayama (Associate Professor, Hosei University Faculty of Business Administration)

* Advisory Board to be expanded in the future

*Please note that the information contained in press releases is current as of the date of release.

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