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The role of trust in cultivating relation-specific skills: The case of a multinational automotive supplier in Japan and Germany

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  • Saeki, Yasuo
  • Horak, Sven
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    Abstract

    This research draws on Asanuma´s concept of relation-specific skills in order to analyse collaboration between automaker and supplier. The cultivation of relation-specific skills has been conventionally regarded as a key factor of competitiveness in the Japanese automotive industry. Yet, the concept has been described mostly in economic terms only. This research attempts to extend this view by analysing the role of informal institutions (trust) in developing relation-specific skills. By drawing on expert interview data within the frame of a case study research approach, we gathered data from a leading multinational automotive supplier in its facilities in Japan and Germany. The results show that the influence of trust plays a role in determining relation-specific skills. In conclusion, we hypothezise that cultural homophily positively influences the cultivation of relation-specific skills. --

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Duisburg-Essen, Institute of East Asian Studies IN-EAST in its series Duisburger Arbeitspapiere Ostasienwissenschaften with number 95/2013.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:udedao:952013

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    Related research

    Keywords: relation-specific skills; Banri Asanuma; automotive industry; supplier-maker relation; culture; trust; Japan;

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    References

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    1. Abigail Barr & Danila Serra, 2008. "Corruption and culture: An Experimental Analysis," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2008-23, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Cameron, Lisa & Chaudhuri, Ananish & Erkal, Nisvan & Gangadharan, Lata, 2009. "Propensities to engage in and punish corrupt behavior: Experimental evidence from Australia, India, Indonesia and Singapore," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 843-851, August.
    3. Nelson, Richard R., 2008. "What enables rapid economic progress: What are the needed institutions," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 1-11, February.
    4. Yi, Lee Mei & Ellis, Paul, 2000. "Insider-outsider perspectives of Guanxi," Business Horizons, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 25-30.
    5. Paul A. David, 2007. "Path dependence: a foundational concept for historical social science," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 1(2), pages 91-114, July.
    6. 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, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 387-417, March.
    7. Jeffrey H Dyer & Wujin Chu, 2000. "The Determinants of Trust in Supplier-Automaker Relationships in the U.S., Japan and Korea," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 31(2), pages 259-285, June.
    8. Asanuma, Banri, 1989. "Manufacturer-supplier relationships in Japan and the concept of relation-specific skill," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 1-30, March.
    9. Nelson, Richard R. & Sampat, Bhaven N., 2001. "Making sense of institutions as a factor shaping economic performance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 31-54, January.
    10. Banri Asanuma, 1985. "The Organization of Parts Purchases in the Japanese Automotive Industry," Japanese Economy, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 13(4), pages 32-53, July.
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