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Japanese Supplier Relations: A Comparative Perspective

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  • Kenji Kojima

    (Kobe University)

Abstract

This paper describes major characteristics of Japanese supplier relations in a comparative perspective. The supplier relations in Japan, particularly automobile industry, are examined in comparison with those in the United States. The primary purpose of the study is to characterize significant features of Japanese supplier relations and to provide economic rationale for those relationships. In addition, comparing supplier relations in Japan and the U.S., convergence in the nature of those are discussed. Significant features of Japanese supplier relations are characterized: long-term relationships and commitments; forced competition among few suppliers; transaction-specific investments in plant, equipment, and human capital; significant involvement of suppliers in product development with sharing of information. Supplier relations in the U.S. are changing and moving close to the Japanese counterpart. There has been a limited, yet noticeable, convergence in the nature of U.S. and Japanese supplier relations.

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File URL: http://www.rieb.kobe-u.ac.jp/academic/ra/researchseries/review.html
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University in its journal Kobe Economic & Business Review.

Volume (Year): 44 (2000)
Issue (Month): (February)
Pages: 53-76

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Handle: RePEc:kob:review:feb2000::v:44:p:53-76

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Related research

Keywords: Long-term relationships; Procurement; Supplier relations; Transaction-specific investments;

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  1. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Sako, Mari & Helper, Susan, 1998. "Determinants of trust in supplier relations: Evidence from the automotive industry in Japan and the United States," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 387-417, March.
  3. Masten, Scott E. & Meehan, James Jr. & Snyder, Edward A., 1989. "Vertical integration in the U.S. auto industry : A note on the influence of transaction specific assets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 265-273, October.
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