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Partnering with the Japanese: Threat or opportunity for European businesses?


  • Burton, John


A prominent diagnosis in Europe and America is that alliances between Western and Japanese businesses are systematically manipulated by the latter to effect a strategic colonisation of the value chain in their favour. The various elements in this sombre analysis are elaborated here for inspection by John Burton. A detailed examination of the important case of the Rover/Honda alliance, however, reveals a somewhat different picture. Wider evidence also suggests that there is no set structure of outcomes resulting from cases of Japanese-European business partnering. The implication for European businesses is that they need not necessarily fear and avoid all Japanese 'entanglements'. The real problem that they face is how to select carefully from alliance prospects with Japanese partners, and then how to jointly manage them to mutually satisfactory benefit. Distilling a large body of experience, the paper erects four precepts for European-Japanese business alliances that are conducive to the attainment of these goals.

Suggested Citation

  • Burton, John, 1995. "Partnering with the Japanese: Threat or opportunity for European businesses?," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 304-315, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eurman:v:13:y:1995:i:3:p:304-315

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eric von Hippel, 1994. ""Sticky Information" and the Locus of Problem Solving: Implications for Innovation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(4), pages 429-439, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. B.M. Sadowski. & G.M. Duysters & G.Sadowski-Rasters, 2005. "On the termination of strategic technology alliances: An exploratory study," Working Papers 05.12, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies.
    2. Uwe Kehrel & Kai Klischan & Nathalie Sick, 2016. "Why Research Partnerships Fail in the Biotechnology Sector — An Empirical Analysis of Strategic Partnerships," International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management (IJITM), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 13(01), pages 1-23, February.

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