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Japan and Japanese firms: historical and modern lessons for international business and economic development

Narula, R. (2020) Japan and Japanese firms: historical and modern lessons for international business and economic development. JAPAN MNE Insights, 6 (1).

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Abstract/Summary

The obsession in both the popular and academic press about Japan, Japanese firms and their management practices lasted until the 1990s, after which there has been an inexplicable absence of curiosity. I argue here that there is still much to learn, not only from their contemporary activity, but from their historical actions. Less developed countries, in particular, can benefit from a careful study of the Meiji era, during which Japan built up the structure, institutions and organizations that underlay its economic success for much of the 20th century, and was a blueprint for many Asian success stories. The Meiji period was crucial in building up of Japan’s location advantages, and the rapidity of the reforms in this period underlined much of its subsequent growth. I also argue that despite Japan’s economic stagnation since the 1990s, its firms have not been stationary. There has been considerable evolution in the management and structure of Japanese firms and its innovation system. Such developments represent a useful preview of challenges ahead for the more advanced emerging economies such as China and India, as well as newer advanced economies, such as Korea.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Henley Business School > International Business and Strategy
ID Code:90150
Publisher:Japan Academy of Multinational Enterprises

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