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Suppliers' Associations in the Japanese Automobile Industry: Collective Action for Technology Diffusion

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  • Sako, Mari

Abstract

This paper analyses the structure and functions of suppliers' associations (kyory-okukai) in the automobile industry in Japan. The bilateral assembler-supplier relationship has received much attention recently as a source of Japanese industrial competitiveness. However, this paper argues that the hitherto neglected area of intersupplier coordination in technology diffusion is at least as important as the bilateral assembler-supplier relationship in accounting for the overall performance of the Japanese automotive industry. On the basis of company visits and a large-scale survey of first-tier suppliers conducted by the author, the paper analyses. the reasons why suppliers' associations were established and why they continue to exist today, and their effects on economic performance. (c) 1996 Academic Press Limited Copyright 1996 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Sako, Mari, 1996. "Suppliers' Associations in the Japanese Automobile Industry: Collective Action for Technology Diffusion," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(6), pages 651-671, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:20:y:1996:i:6:p:651-71
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    Cited by:

    1. Fujita, Mai, 2013. "Exploring the sources of China's challenge to Japan : models of industrial organisation in the motorcycle industry," IDE Discussion Papers 419, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    2. Kalim Siddiqui, 2015. "Political Economy Of Japan’S Decades Long Economic Stagnation," Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, Institute of Economic Research, vol. 10(4), pages 9-39, December.
    3. Thompson, Edmund R., 2002. "Clustering of Foreign Direct Investment and Enhanced Technology Transfer: Evidence from Hong Kong Garment Firms in China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 873-889, May.
    4. Belderbos René A. & Heijltjes Mariëlle G., 2003. "The Determinants Of Expatriation In Japanese Multinationals: Vertical Business Groups And Executive Staffing Policies In Asia," Research Memorandum 055, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    5. Lincoln, James R. & Guillot, Didier, 2011. "Business Groups, Networks, And Embeddedness: Innovation And Implementation Alliances In Japanese Electronics, 1985-1998," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt35g695gn, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    6. Simon Board, 2011. "Relational Contracts and the Value of Loyalty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3349-3367, December.
    7. Marvin B. Lieberman & Lieven Demeester, 1999. "Inventory Reduction and Productivity Growth: Linkages in the Japanese Automotive Industry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(4), pages 466-485, April.
    8. Junya Sakaguchi & Yutaka Kato & Nobumasa Shimizu, 2005. "Valiability of Buyer-Supplier Relationships: Empirical Evidence from Japanese Keiretsu Systems," Discussion Papers 2005-03, Kobe University, Graduate School of Business Administration.
    9. Hodaka Morita & Maroš Servátka, 2016. "Does Group Identity Prevent Inefficient Investment in Outside Options? An Experimental Investigation," Research in Experimental Economics,in: Experiments in Organizational Economics, volume 19, pages 105-126 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    10. Tomas Fernandez-de-Sevilla, 2011. "Responses to a crisis: FASA-Renault in Spain during the 1970s," Working Papers in Economics 261, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
    11. 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.
    12. Stephan Manning & Silvia Massini & Carine Peeters & Arie Lewin, 2012. "Global Co-Evolution of Firm Boundaries: Process Commoditization, Capabilities Development, and Path Dependencies," Working Papers CEB 12-009, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    13. König, Andreas & Schulte, Martin & Enders, Albrecht, 2012. "Inertia in response to non-paradigmatic change: The case of meta-organizations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1325-1343.
    14. Perri, Alessandra & Andersson, Ulf, 2014. "Knowledge outflows from foreign subsidiaries and the tension between knowledge creation and knowledge protection: Evidence from the semiconductor industry," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 63-75.

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