Structural Changes of Japanese Firms: Strategy, organization, and behavior

Author Name MORIKAWA Masayuki  (Vice Chairman & Vice President, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. May 2012 12-J-017
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The purpose of this paper is to overview the characteristics of Japanese firms based on an original survey. Specifically, we analyze the changes in management strategy, corporate governance, internal organization, and business behavior of Japanese firms by comparing a survey conducted in the 1990s with a recent one using the same questionnaires. These surveys cover both listed and unlisted firms, which is an important advantage of this study. There are many stable characteristics: the longer time horizon in decision making, the important role of workers and customers as stakeholders, and the reluctance to reduce employees in case of deterioration of financial performance. On the other hand, recently, Japanese firms have attached importance on profit rather than sales as a performance measure. The influence of shareholders on managerial decision making is strengthening. Japanese firms have become active in restructuring their businesses through M&A and sales of unprofitable businesses.

The English version of this paper is 13-E-083.