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The Japanese Automobile Supplier System Framework, Facts, and Reinterpretation (preliminary draft)


  • Fujimoto, Takahiro

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.)


The paper proposes a systematic explanation as to how the Japanese automobile suppliers system generated international competitive advantages in the 1980s and thereafter. Based not only on the survey of existing literature, some of which were never introduced in English in the past, but also the author's original data and a conceptual framework for coherent interpretation of the phenomena, the paper argues that coexistence of three conditions, as a mutually complementary factors, enabled such a competitive advantage: long-term relational transactions, bundled outsourcing, and dynamic small-number competition. These three pattern of the inter-firm relations have been much discussed in existing literature as separate factors, but they were not regarded as a coherent total system. This paper proposes a hypothesis that the performance advantage of this system should be ascribed at least partly to the complementarity of the inter-firm routines.

Suggested Citation

  • Fujimoto, Takahiro, 1997. "The Japanese Automobile Supplier System Framework, Facts, and Reinterpretation (preliminary draft)," CIRJE F-Series 97-F-13, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  • Handle: RePEc:tky:fseres:97f13

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    Cited by:

    1. Sharon Novak & Steven D. Eppinger, 2001. "Sourcing By Design: Product Complexity and the Supply Chain," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(1), pages 189-204, January.
    2. Fumihiko Isada & Yuriko Isada, 2015. "A Network Analysis Of Open Innovation In Drug Discovery," Economy & Business Journal, International Scientific Publications, Bulgaria, vol. 9(1), pages 94-110.

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    1. Studies on the automobile industry


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