Why Did Germany's Hidden Champions Succeed in Globalization?

Author Name IWAMOTO Koichi (Senior Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. November 2017 17-P-032
Research Project Productivity Revolution through IoT
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This paper describes the interim results of the analysis on why Germany's Hidden Champions (HC) succeeded in globalization.

Compared to Japan's small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs), Germany's strong SMEs, known as "Hidden Champions," have performed tremendously well in globalization. Where did such performance come from?

In this paper, I successfully created a hypothesis which contains system factors, structural factors, and human factors. To confirm my hypothesis, I visited several HCs and interviewed company executives to see if it applied to their companies. These interviews likely covered all of the detailed information on HC, although time consuming. The answers from all HCs were "entrepreneurship." I will switch to using a survey conducted through mail, as the interview survey may be an unreliable method.

Furthermore, I will conduct a survey on why Japan's SMEs lag behind globalization in order to compare with the German case.