GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Internationalization of Japanese Business Networks: an Opportunity for Middle Eastern Firms
Paper Proposal Text :

There is a strong tradition for subcontracting by Japanese companies dating back to before the Second World War. The contemporary Japanese corporate world indeed consists of myriads of business networks. Whereas they traditionally have been domestic networks, Japanese multinational companies (J-MNCs) increasingly develop partnerships with foreign companies which can bring the valuable resources needed for the J-MNCs to gain and/ or sustain global competitive advantage. The global competitive landscape has changed in such a way that the integration into transnational networks have become a more viable business strategy than the exclusive pooling of domestic forces.
In this paper, I present two case studies of J-MNCs entering into foreign alliances in the global wind industry, namely Toshiba with the Korean Unison and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries with Danish Vestas. These case studies illuminate the motives of the Japanese executives for choosing to collaborate with Unison and Vestas, respectively, and the synergy effects that they expect to derive from their collaboration. The case studies are developed on back on secondary data, notably company reports and media reports, combined with semi-structured interviews.
I conclude with the argument that the increasing internationalization of Japanese business networks represents an opportunity for Middle Eastern firms capable of contributing with valuable resources. This is particularly evident in light of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey) in April – May, 2013, accompanied by more than 100 Japanese business leaders from several industries. It was the largest Japanese economic mission in history, and a number of concrete business deals were concluded during the visit.

Keywords: Japanese business studies; alliance capitalism; joint venture; strategic alliance; Japan-Middle East relations