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The transformation of Japanese institutions and governance: The case of vertical keiretsu in Toyota, Nissan, and Honda 1990-2010
Meiji University.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Industrial Engineering & Management.
2011 (English)In: Academy of International Business, 2011Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper is about the transformation of Japanese institutions and governance, focusing on keiretsu. We identify four dimensions of keiretsu (long-standing relationships, exclusiveness, governance mechanisms: trust/power/anshin (security), and support systems) based on which we discuss transformation of keiretsu in three companies in the automotive industry (Toyota, Nissan and Honda). We draw on both quantitative data on sales volume, ownership, membership in suppliers' associations as well as qualitative data from factory visits and interviews over a period of ten years. We argue that long-standing relationships to suppliers and exclusiveness have changed significantly in the Nissan, while remaining stable in Toyota and Honda. We argue that more competition based elements have been added to governance mechanisms, but that they still are hybrid combination of trust, power and anshin. The support systems still exist, but go beyond keiretsu in Toyota and Honda, indicating more openness. We relate the development of keiretsu to company policies and economic results of the three cases, arguing that Nissan's economic situation combined with its alliance with Renault had particularly strong effects on its keiretsu.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Governance structure; Ownership structure; Globalization; Japan; Keiretsu
National Category
Business Administration Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Engineering Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-165327OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-165327DiVA: diva2:472938
Academy of International Business
Available from: 2012-01-04 Created: 2012-01-04 Last updated: 2016-04-19

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