- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- Notes on Contributors
- Foundations of Business Groups: Towards an Integrated Framework
- Business Groups in Historical Perspectives
- Business Groups in Prewar Japan: Historical Formation and Legacy
- Business Networks in Postwar Japan: Whither the Keiretsu?
- Business Groups in South Korea
- Business Groups in Taiwan
- Business Groups in China
- Business Groups in Thailand
- Business Groups in Singapore
- Business Groups in India
- Business Groups in Argentina
- Business Groups in Brazil
- Business Groups in Chile
- Business Groups in Mexico
- Business Groups in Israel
- Business Groups in Turkey
- Business Groups in Russia
- Business Groups in South Africa
- Business Groups in Emerging Markets: Paragons or Parasites?
- The Riddle of the Great Pyramids
- Economic Institutions and the Boundaries of Business Groups
- Business Groups and the State: The Politics of Expansion, Restructuring, and Collapse
- Corporate Governance of Business Groups
- The Kin and the Professional: Top Leadership in Family Business Groups
- Diversification Strategy and Business Groups
- Capability Building in Business Groups
- Technological Innovation and Business Groups
Abstract and Keywords
The purpose of this article is to discuss the postwar Japanese keiretsu. In the face of powerful forces of institutional and economic change, the groups have “withered away,” such that they no longer constitute a significant topographic feature of the Japanese economic landscape, despite having been one from the 1950s to the early 2000s. The review of the keiretsu presented here is largely retrospective. This article gives an overview of the horizontal and vertical keiretsu; how they differed from business groups in other countries; where they came from; how they were structured; their benefits and liabilities for individual firms and the Japanese economy as a whole; why they have largely died out; and whether they—the vertical groups in particular—might be revived.
James R. Lincoln is Mitsubishi Professor of International Business and Finance in the Walter A. Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley. His primary research interests include organizational design and innovation, Japanese management, and inter-organizational networks. He is the author of Culture, Control and Commitment: A Study of Work Organization and Work Attitudes in the U.S. and Japan, (with Arne L. Kalleberg), Cambridge University Press, 1990, and Japan's Network Economy: Structure, Persistence and Change, Cambridge University Press, 2004 (with Michael L. Gerlach).
Masahiro Shimotani is Professor at the Faculty of Economics, Fukui Prefectural University, and Emeritus Professor at the Faculty of Economics, Kyoto University, Japan. His research interest is mainly in the history and structure of business groups in Japan. Recently he has devoted himself to analyzing the holding company issues in Japan. He is the author of several books on the Japanese zaibatsu, business groups, and holding companies. He is also the co‐editor (with Takao Shiba) of Beyond the Firm: Business Groups in International and Historical Perspectives (Oxford University Press, 1997).
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