Advances in International Management | Papers
Advances in International Management

Same rules, different games: Variation in the outcomes of "Japanese-style" supply relationships

This paper debunks the myth of a monolithic model of “Japanese-style” supply relationships and illustrates how idiosyncratic elements of an industry’s environment interact with a country’s institutional environment.Our understanding of Japanese supply relationships comes primarily from studying the automobile industry. This paper identifies three elements of the automobile industry that, although generally assumed to be widespread, are largely absent in the notebook computer industry, leading to a different pattern of supply relationships: a sizable pool of external suppliers; the feasibility of shukko and cross-shareholding to strengthen supply relationships; and the adequacy of these means to manage external supply relationships. This finding debunks the myth of a monolithic model of “Japanese-style” supply relationships and illustrates the importance of idiosyncratic elements of an industry’s environment on its supply relationships. View and download