Keiretsu: Inside the Hidden Japanese Conglomerates

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9780070425835: Keiretsu: Inside the Hidden Japanese Conglomerates

This book reveals the inner workings of Japan's keiretsu - the ironclad corporate alliances that continue to trigger hot debate. Are they a menace to US business, working arm in arm to conquer world markets and shut out competition? Or, as Lee Iacocca has suggested, are the keiretsu a model for much-needed change in the way US companies do business? Scrupulously objective, "Keiretsu" probes behind the scenes to reveal what the keiretsu really are and how they operate. In highly readable style, it analyzes the Big 6 - Mitsubishi, Mitsui, Sumitomo, Sanwa, Fuyo, and Dai-Inchi Kangyo - and reports on how they do business and what it's like for foreign competitors to take them on. Readers will find pioneering insights into the thousands of small companies in the keiretsu groups that act as suppliers to the largest firms and are the real source of the Japanese economic miracle. They'll also learn how Japanese officials skillfully leverage the keiretsu as a tool in trade relations. Japan can be a land of high profits or disastrous pitfalls for American companies, and Keiretsu is rich with examples. It shows how Coca-Cola makes more money in Japan than at home, and also offers the cautionary tale of IBM's comeuppance at the hands of the keiretsu. The underlying lessons - especially how to take advantage of the keiretsu subcontracting system or circumvent it - will open the eyes of even the most sophisticated international executives. This book also examines whether American should turn the tables on Japan. Could keiretsu help the United States bolster its competitiveness? Or if Japan's keiretsu system about to self-destruct - wracked by internal turmoils that are just coming to light?

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From Library Journal:

While there is no perfect translation of the term keiretsu , this volume affords a revealing look at the great "corporate groups" that are the heart of Japan's industrial strength. The nine chapters do a good job of explaining the interdependence of banks, stable shareholding, and interconnecting directories. The authors, a businessman and a reporter, deal with the structure of the "Big Six" horizontal keiretsu (Mitsui, Mitsubishi, Sumitomo, Fuyo, Sanwa, and DKB) and leading vertical keiretsu (e.g., automotives and electronics). With insights from key top-level Japanese executives and discussion of the future implications for American business, this refreshing book is recommended not only for specialized business readers but for anyone curious about learning about the macrostructural form and strategic foundation of Japan's core form of industrial strength.
- Joseph W. Leonard, Miami Univ., Oxford, Ohio
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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