- Tapa blanda: 350 páginas
- Editor: University of California Press; Edición: Revised (4 de agosto de 1997)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 0520208897
- ISBN-13: 978-0520208896
- Valoración media de los clientes: Sé el primero en opinar sobre este producto
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Alliance Capitalism: The Social Organization of Japanese Business (Inglés) Tapa blanda – 4 ago 1997
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Business practices in Japan inspire fierce and even acrimonious debate, especially when they are compared to American practices. This book attempts to explain the remarkable economic success of Japan in the postwar period--a success it is crucial for us to understand in a time marked by controversial trade imbalances and concerns over competitive industrial performance. Gerlach focuses on what he calls the intercorporate alliance, the innovative and increasingly pervasive practice of bringing together a cluster of affiliated companies that extends across a broad range of markets. The best known of these alliances are the keiretsu, or enterprise groups, which include both diversified families of firms located around major banks and trading companies and vertical families of suppliers and distributors linked to prominent manufacturers in the automobile, electronics, and other industries. In providing a key link between isolated local firms and extended international markets, the intercorporate alliance has had profound effects on the industrial and social organization of Japanese businesses. Gerlach casts his net widely. He not only provides a rigorous analysis of intercorporate capitalism in Japan, making useful distinctions between Japanese and American practices, but he also develops a broad theoretical context for understanding Japan's business networks. Addressing economists, sociologists, and other social scientists, he argues that the intercorporate alliance is as much a result of overlapping political, economic, and social forces as are such traditional Western economic institutions as the public corporation and the stock market. Most compellingly, Alliance Capitalism raises important questions about the best method of exchange in any economy. It identifies situations where cooperation among companies is an effective way of channeling corporate activities in a world marked by complexity and rapid change, and considers in detail alternatives to hostile takeovers and other characteristic features of American capitalism. The book also points to the broader challenges facing Japan and its trading partners as they seek to coordinate their distinctive forms of economic organization.
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Maybe. But the most inspiring piece lies in the use of image. Keiretsu is the interfirm network and it¡¯s not unique on Japan but the ubiquitous phenomenon all over the world. Usually, they use the image of coalition, as it has developed in the game theory. The interfirm network, however more stable it is than arm¡¯s length trading, is usually depicted with the image of coalition. The coalition, particularly in the form of game theory, is relatively fluid relationship. The coalition comes and goes according to the logic of strategic self-interest. This is the reality of business such as strategic alliance. Yesterday¡¯s foe could be today¡¯s friend. For example, Apple shook hands with IBM to make PowerPC. But such an image doesn¡¯t fit into the long-term relationship of horizontal keiretsu over more than a generation. Affiliation in a keiretsu group is considered as permanent one. Instead, Gerlach uses the metaphor of alliance to illustrate the features of Japanese keiretsu. The image of alliance comes from anthropological fieldworks. It suggests long-term social relationship that links kinship groups over generations. The self-interest is also the driving-force in the kinship alliance. Kinship groups establish the long-term ties with other kinship groups through swapping women. Through this tie, they exchange resources like calling on in times of need or for protection of one¡¯s own group. Those are valuable resources in primitive societies, with no doubt, and this relationship is long-term by nature. But in such a relationship, self-interest is tempered by the central role played by group history.
Horizontal keiretsu emerged from the self-interest of member firms to stabilize the flow of resources. So at the center of group have lain the bank and sogo shosha. During the early postwar period, the capital and raw materials were scarce and most needed resources to be secured, and that, affiliation in the group opens doors to trade with other group members, and with the trading partners those firms have. But once the network is put into action, it takes the life of its own: It was instutionalized in the routine of business. Just as firms seek to position themselves advantageously in their industry and in the broader business community, so too do groups as a whole. Keiretsu network, for instance, expands itself with new memberships. Most of expansion has involved the firms that compete against firms in other keiretsu. Keiretsu compete against keiretsu for positioning in the business community. By expanding to include group-level representation in a broad variety of fields, the group simultaneously preempts market opportunities, enhances its prestige in the larger business community, and diversifies risk across a spectrum of industries. The power and prestige of the group make the individual member firm more appealing to prospective business partners and improves its status in the larger business community. The fortunes of group and companies are in this way intertwined. In other words, affiliation in group translates into marrying with the group. The individual firms act as if they are the members of the clan. This kind of interfirm network could be facilitated for the unique Japanese business history. 3 out of outstanding 6 (now 4) groups are ex-zaibatsu (industrial group). And some influences in early postwar period are crucial in forming the keiretsu.
But this is the problem of this book: no convincing explanation about why such alliance is found only in Japan? This book offers good enough description of the phenomenon. I can¡¯t help asking ¡®Is this enough explanation?¡¯ Unfortunately I don¡¯t think so. If you have this kind of question, I recommend, Ulrike Schaede¡¯s ¡®Cooperative Capitalism¡¯. This book has a very long-term standpoint from Tokugawa period to the present. This book is not about keiretsu. But you could understand the institutional background of Japanese business.